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Chinese investigators arrived in Pakistan to jointly probe Tuesday's suicide bombing

Chinese investigators arrived in Pakistan to jointly probe Tuesday's suicide bombing

 
- Government would continue to strengthen security for Chinese nationals throughout the country, interior minister assures Chinese team
 

By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) – Chinese investigators arrived in Pakistan on Friday to join an investigation into the killing of five Chinese nationals in this week's suicide attack in northwestern Pakistan, the Interior Ministry in Islamabad said.

The Chinese investigation team arrived in the capital Islamabad and met with Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi, the ministry said in a statement.

"Mohsin Naqvi briefed the members of the Chinese investigation team over probe and development in the case," it said.

They also discussed security arrangements for Chinese nationals in Pakistan, and Naqi assured the visiting team that the government would continue to strengthen security for Chinese nationals throughout the country.

Later, Mohsin Naqvi met with the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong, and briefed him on the ongoing investigation. However, the ministry did not provide additional information about the investigation.

Five Chinese nationals working on the Dasu Hydropower Project in the remote Kohistan district were killed in a suicide attack in the Shangla district of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Their Pakistani driver also lost his life in the attack.

The Dasu hydropower project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $65 billion project that will connect China's northwestern Xinjiang province to the port of Gwadar in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

Following the Tuesday attack, Beijing demanded that Islamabad launch an investigation “as soon as possible” and “hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”

On Thursday, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said the attack was orchestrated by the "enemies of Pakistan-China friendship."

"We are fully committed to bringing the terrorists and their facilitators and abettors to justice. Such despicable acts further strengthen Pakistan’s resolve in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said.

"Pakistan will continue to work with our Chinese brothers in ensuring the safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects, and institutions in Pakistan," she added.

Earlier in a similar attack on Dasu hydropower project workers in 2021, at least 13 people were killed, including nine Chinese workers. Later, in Nov. 2022, two men were sentenced to death for the attack.

 

- Chinese companies temporarily halt work

Chinese companies have temporarily halted work on two major hydropower projects in northwestern Pakistan after one of them lost five engineers in this week's suicide bombing.

Nearly 1,000 Chinese are working on the Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha Dams projects, which are in the northwestern Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Diamer district of Gilgit Baltistan regions, respectively.

"Yes, Chinese engineers have temporarily suspended work on the Dasu Dam following the Tuesday suicide bombing," a senior officer from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Home Department told Anadolu on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

"Security agencies are working on Chinese citizen security plan, to further strengthen their security," the official said.

According to Pakistani media, Chinese engineers have also suspended work on the Diamer-Bhasha Dam, but work on the Mohmand Dam and other small projects in the Malakand region of the province continues.

"Suspension of work does not mean that Chinese engineers stopped working as a protest but our government has decided to increase their security and local authorities have asked them to remain inside their residential area until revised security deployment," a government official said.

He did, however, add that more than 10,000 Pakistanis are still working on the Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha Dams.

Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha Dams are key projects for the South Asian country because they will generate over 9,000 MW of electricity through hydropower.

 
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