Chinese nationals killed by ISIS were recruited by Christian group to preach to Muslims, says Pakistan

Two Chinese nationals who were kidnapped and killed by the Islamic State in Quetta, Pakistan, were supposedly recruited by a Korean Christian group to preach to Muslims in the country, according to the Pakistani interior ministry on June 12.

(REUTERS / Naseer Ahmed)A soldier stands guard near the site where two Chinese language teachers were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, in Quetta, Pakistan May 24, 2017.

On May 24, ISIS militants pretending to be policemen abducted 24-year-old Lee Zing Yang and 26-year-old Meng Li Si in Quetta. The militant group's Amaq news agency then announced last week that its members had killed the two Chinese nationals, Reuters detailed.

While officials previously identified Lee and Meng as Chinese-language teachers, Pakistan's interior ministry said they had violated their visa rule and preached in Quetta. The ministry also confirmed their deaths, but there was no confirmation on whether their bodies have been located.

"Instead of engaging in any business activity, they went to Quetta and under the garb of learning (the) Urdu language from a Korean national ... were actually engaged in preaching," Pakistan's interior ministry said in a statement. "The Minister observed that it is highly unfortunate that a misuse of the terms of (the) business visa contributed to the unfortunate incident of abduction and subsequent murder of two innocent Chinese."

The kidnapping of Lee and Meng has reportedly alarmed the Chinese community in Pakistan. It also brought about increased security measures to protect Chinese nationals and other foreigners.

In addition, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said they should take a second look at the way Chinese nationals' visas are processed and also called for a way to monitor the Chinese workers in the country. He also said this information should be "shared with all security agencies."

Meanwhile, Global Times accused Western media of exaggerating the implication of the abduction on China's ties with Pakistan. Some media outlets had speculated that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project under the Belt and Road initiative would be affected by the incident.

The Times acknowledged that what ISIS did to the two Chinese nationals is shocking, but it would not affect China-Pakistan ties and the CPEC construction. The publication asserted that the incident was more likely caused by local terrorists' opposition to missionary work in the country.