Akram Khan Durrani, chief minister of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier province, Tuesday informed the provincial assembly that talks were in progress with captors of two Chinese engineers and their release is expected soon, the official Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
He expressed these views when answering a question raised by a member of provincial assembly (MPA) who condemned the incident and demanded early release of the kidnapped Chinese.
Speaking in provincial assembly, Akram Durrani said the leadership of Mutihida-e-Majlis (MMA) was also involved in safe and early release of the hostages.
He said the hostages have been besieged by police, security forces and local tribesmen. "We were holding talks with the kidnappers because we want safety of the abductees," he said.
The chief minister said the Pakistani government is avoiding any action for safety of the Chinese engineers.
He expressed the hope that talks will be fruitful and soon the abducted Chinese engineers would be released.
Earlier MPA Bashir Bilour termed the kidnapping an attempt at disturbing foreign investment in the country. The Chinese, he continued, have contributed a lot in launching of mega projects like the Karakorum Highway and the Gwadar port in Pakistan.
He also demanded of the government to provide maximum protection to foreigners working in Pakistan so that such incident could not happen in future.
China taking active efforts to rescue kidnapped engineers
China has been going in for various substantial efforts to rescue the two engineers, who were kidnapped in Pakistan, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhang Qiyue told a regular press conference Tuesday in Beijing
The Chinese leaders and government are very concerned about the kidnapping, Zhang said. The Foreign Ministry has lodged a presentation with the Pakistan side, urging them to act immediately to rescue the hostages and trying all means to secure their safety.
Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing already telephoned his Pakistani counterpart, requiring them to take all necessary measures to beef up the protection of other Chinese expatriates there, Zhang added.
China has started an emergency scheme and would keep in touch with the Pakistan 24 hours a day.
Zhang acknowledged that the Pakistan side too attached great importance to the crisis and responded to China's requests.
Pakistani leaders and relevant departments referred to the two engineers as "good brothers of the Pakistan people" and also hoped to resolve the crisis as early as possible, Zhang noted.
Gunmen kidnapped the two engineers, Wang Ende and Wang Peng, Saturday near Jandala in Pakistan's South Waziristan Tribal Agency bordering Afghanistan. The engineers had been working on a water dam and a canal in the region for the China National Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Group Corporation.