Firm pulls its staff out after death of hostage

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 12:00am

The hydropower company whose two engineers were kidnapped by al-Qaeda-linked militants in Pakistan, with one killed in a rescue operation, has withdrawn all staff helping build the Gomal Zam Dam, according to the Foreign Ministry.

'After taking into consideration the current security conditions, the Chinese company in charge of constructing the dam has withdrawn all the Chinese personnel from the work site,' ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue was quoted by Xinhua saying.

But Ms Zhang stressed that the government had not decided to pull out its support staff in Pakistan and it was purely a decision by the Sino Hydro Corporation.

'It's a business decision, for which we express understanding,' she said.

Meanwhile, during a meeting with Chaudhry Amir Hussain, the visiting Speaker of the Pakistani National Assembly, President Hu Jintao called for more effective measures to be taken to safeguard Chinese citizens.

The two Chinese engineers, Wang Peng and Wang Ende , were taken hostage by militants early this month in southwest Pakistan. Wang Peng was killed in the rescue operation.