ISLAMABAD - An official of the interior ministry on Friday, while retracting from the ministry’s earlier statement that confirmed killing of two Chinese nationals in Balochistan, said that their killing had yet to be verified.

The security and intelligence agencies are carefully looking into the background of the abduction of the two Chinese from Quetta as well as their photographs being circulated on the social media to reach a conclusion in the case, the official of the ministry said.

And after this, it could be verified whether these two Chinese were killed or are still alive, the official added.

Sources in the ministry said that more evidence had surfaced in connection with the abduction incident and some decisions had been made in this regard.

This has also come into the knowledge of the ministry that police took into custody both the Chinese nationals from Kharotabad area of Quetta, and they were not only warned about security concerns but also offered proper security, which they had refused to accept, the officials said.

As part of the decisions, the Interior Ministry has immediately cancelled Pakistani visa issued to Korean national who was running an Urdu academy in Quetta.

The investigations conducted so far show that Juan Won Seo alias Gilbert entered Pakistan on a business visa but he established an Urdu language academy in Quetta and was involved in illegal activities.

The interior ministry last Monday had confirmed the killing of Chinese nationals saying it had decided to review and strictly regulate its visa policy for Chinese after this incident.

The ministry had said that the two Chinese violated terms and conditions of their business visas and were involved in preaching activities instead.

On June 8, the Islamic State or ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing of the two Chinese nationals, hours after the army said that it has killed some IS militants in an operation in Mastung area of Balochistan.

According to the interior ministry, a group of Chinese citizens, which included the two, obtained business visas from Pakistani embassy in Beijing and entered Pakistan.

However, instead of engaging in any business activity they went to Quetta and under the garb of learning Urdu language from a Korean national Juan Won Seo, Owner of ARK Info Tech, they actually engaged in preaching. Lee Zing Yang, 24 and Meng Li Si, 26, were abducted from Jinnah Town Quetta on May 24.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan on Friday, while chairing a meeting directed the interior ministry that the process of registration of INGOs under the new policy should be completed by the end of July.

He said that the registration of the INGOs under the new policy was an important milestone, which would bring transparency into the system.

This, Nisar said was critical for the security of the country.

The minister was chairing a high-level meeting at the interior ministry to review the progress made so far in the registration of the INGOs.

The meeting was attended among others by secretary interior, advocate general, chairman and deputy chairman Nadra, and senior officials of the ministry as well as Nadra.

The chair said that the purpose of the new registration system was to bring transparency into the process and also to further strengthen the relationship between the government and non-governmental sector. 

He directed the ministry that besides early completion of registration of the INGOs, it should also be ensured that the registered international NGOs were provided every possible facility in their professional pursuits.

The interior minister observed that the way the INGOs were used in the past for various purposes and the whole system was neglected had adversely affected not only the INGOs themselves but also eroded confidence between the government and the INGOs leading to creation of many misunderstandings.

He said that the transparency of the new system would make up for the past mistakes and would revive confidence between the government and the INGOs.

The minister directed that INGOs Wing of the ministry to be further strengthened and all correspondence and communications between the ministry and INGOs be in black and white through a computer-assisted system so as to reduce time for proper action and eliminate red tape.

The meeting was informed that 66 INGOs had been granted formal approval so far as part of the policy announced in 2015.

The minister directed that the process of registration should be completed at the earliest possible, keeping in view the past projects, performance and impact of work of the INGOs.

The meeting further gave approval to four INGOs taking the total figure to 70, while it was decided that 10 INGOs would not be allowed to work in Pakistan.

Decision on 36 INGOs would be completed during next month.

It was also decided during the meeting that a grace period of three months would be given to those INGOs who would be stopped from working in Pakistan to complete their ongoing projects.