Beijing joins probe into suicide attack on its nationals in Pakistan

The incident that occurred on March 26 was the third major attack in little over a week on China-invested infrastructural projects….reports Asian Lite News

In the wake of the suicide bomb attack that claimed the lives of five Chinese nationals, Chinese investigators arrived in Pakistan to probe the incident, The News International reported, citing Pakistan’s interior ministry.

According to the report, the incident that occurred on March 26 was the third major attack in little over a week on China-invested infrastructural projects, where Beijing has invested more than USD 65 billion as part of its wider Belt and Road initiative.

Pakistan Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi met the Chinese team of investigators at Beijing’s embassy and briefed them on the investigation so far, the statement said.

At present, no one has claimed responsibility for the recent attack, in which a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers working on a hydropower project at Dasu in Pakistan’s northwest, killing six people.

During his interaction with the Beijing’s probe team at Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, the security czar informed them about the progress made so far in the investigations into the tragic incident, The News International reported.

Measures pertaining to protection of Chinese nationals and overall security were also discussed in the meeting

The federal minister also met the Chinese ambassador and updated him on the probe into Besham incident.

In the meantime, civil work at the sites of the Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha Dams has been temporarily suspended by the Chinese companies overseeing operations due to security concerns.

The News International reported that approximately 991 Chinese engineers were working on both projects, while the local staff has been told to stay at home till further instructions, an official working on the project confirmed to the publication.

Similarly, GM Diamer-Bhasha Dam (DBD) Nazakat Hussain also confirmed that the Chinese company had suspended work on the dam. He said around 500 Chinese nationals were engaged in DBD but the FWO staff continues to work. Around 6,000 locals are busy in dam construction.

He hoped that the situation would normalise in a few days, leading to the return of Chinese employees. The Diamer-Bhasha Dam would produce 4,800 MW of electricity through hydropower generation, The News International reported.

However, the GM of Mohmand Dam Asim Rauf said that 250 Chinese continue to work on the Mohmand Dam and they have not stopped work. “Chinese have shown satisfaction over the security situation in the project area and they are working on the site,” the official said.

Chinese military offers help

After five Chinese nationals were killed in a suicide blast in Besham in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, Beijing has offered help to Islamabad to contain terrorism.

After the deadly attack, the Chinese government has called on the Pakistan government to ensure more security for its nationals.

“The Chinese military is willing to work with the Pakistani side to enhance the capability of the two countries to tackle various security risks and challenges, including terrorist attacks and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability,” said Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson of the China Ministry of National Defense.

Moreover, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson also urged Pakistan to enhance security measures to safeguard Chinese nationals, projects and institutions.

A Chinese investigation team is also in Islamabad to work with the Pakistani side to probe further into the terrorist attack.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Interior Mohsin Naqvi visited the Chinese Consulate in Islamabad on Friday and had a brief meeting with the Chinese investigating team.

As per official sources, Naqvi briefed the Chinese team about the ongoing investigation and assured complete and full cooperation by Pakistan in getting those involved in the heinous attack, to accountability and justice.

“Besham attack has opened up new domains for military level cooperation between Pakistan and China that will be discussed and explored in the coming days. The strategic partnership between the two countries has a strong history,” said political analyst Adnan Shauqat.

Millitaries of both the countries have maintained frequent, close and high-level exchanges, resulting in successful outcomes including joint-military exercises and training professional exchanges, personnel training and equipment and technological cooperation. (with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ: $62 BILLION INVESTMENT AT STAKE: Challenges for China in Pakistan


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *