ISLAMABAD   -  Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said that the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi was a conspiracy against the Pak-China friendship.

Terror returned to Pakistan as militants attacked China’s consulate in Karachi and killed at least 25 in a blast in Hangu’s Lower Orakzai Agency.

In the first attack, two policemen and three terrorists were killed when the Chinese consulate located in Clifton area of Karachi was attacked. Five people sustained injuries.

The attackers were holding Kalashnikovs. They first hurled a grenade and then started firing. Police said two suicide jackets were also recovered from the terrorists.

Separately, 25 people were killed and 35 sustained injuries in an explosion in Hangu’s Lower Orakzai Agency. The incident occurred in Kalaya Bazaar where a large number of people were present for shopping.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned both the strikes and said the attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi was “part of a conspiracy against Pakistan and China economic and strategic cooperation”.

He tweeted: “Strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Chinese Consulate in Karachi and in Orakzai tribal area. My prayers go to the victims and their families. Salute the brave security and police personnel who gave their lives and denied success to terrorists in the mission against Chinese Consulate.”

The premier added the failed attack against the Chinese Consulate was a reaction to the unprecedented trade agreements that resulted from our trip to China.

The attack was intended to scare Chinese investors and undermine China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said adding: “These terrorists will not succeed.”

A separate statement issued by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on behalf of the Prime Minister said he had “ordered a complete inquiry into the incident and desired that elements behind this incident must be unearthed.”

“The incident is part of conspiracy against Pak and China economic and strategic cooperation. However, such incidents will never be able to undermine Pak-China relationship that is mightier than Himalaya and deeper than Arabian sea,” the premier asserted

The Prime Minister also appreciated the exceptional courage of the security officials and saluted their bravery.

The Chinese embassy in Pakistan also strongly condemns the terrorist attack against the Chinese Consulate-General in Karachi.

“Now the situation has been brought under control and three terrorists have been killed. There are no Chinese citizens killed or injured in the attack,” said a statement issued by the embassy.

It added: “We appreciate the Pakistani Army and Police for their timely and proper action against the attack. We extend our deep condolences to the two Pakistani policemen martyred in the attack. We believe that the Pakistani side is able to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan. Any attempt to undermine China-Pakistan relationship is doomed to fail.”

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said there were elements who “do not like peace returning to Pakistan but these incidents will not affect the friendship between the two neighbours. Both the parties understand the reasons behind the attack.”

The Inter-Services Public Relations confirmed that three terrorists tried to enter the consulate. “All of them were killed in a joint-security operation by Sindh Rangers and police,” a military statement said.