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Pakistan to pay $2.5m in compensation to families of Chinese nationals killed in Bisham attack

PM Shehbaz directs authorities to expedite compensation payments ahead of his visit to Beijing next month
Security personnel inspect the site of a suicide attack near Besham city in the Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on March 26, 2024. AFP
Security personnel inspect the site of a suicide attack near Besham city in the Shangla district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on March 26, 2024. AFP

The federal government has decided to pay approximately $2.5 million in compensation to the families of five Chinese nationals who were killed in a terror attack near Besham, Swat in March, Business Recorder reported.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the authorities to expedite the compensation payments ahead of his planned visit to Beijing next month, the new outlet reported while quoting sources

At least five Chinese nationals were killed in an explosion when their convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on March 26. The convoy of Chinese engineers was on its way from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu.

Dasu is the site of a major dam and the area has been attacked in the past. A blast on a bus had killed 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, in 2021.

The Chinese government had demanded a thorough investigation into the deadly attack on a bus carrying its nationals working on the Dasu hydropower project and called for enhanced security measures to protect its citizens in Pakistan.

Pakistan condemned the “heinous act of terrorism” and promised to bring the perpetrators and their facilitators to justice. It was later claimed that the terrorists had infiltrated from Afghanistan, and some arrests have been made in this regard.

A statement from the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, stated that the Bisham attack was a “conscious effort” to sow discord between Pakistan and its strategic ally, China.

A few security and police officials have also been dismissed for failing to provide adequate protection to the Chinese workers.

In April, Information Minister Attaullah Tarar said a committee appointed by PM Shehbaz identified a regional official, three district officials and the director of security at the Dasu dam project for their “negligence” in fulfilling their duties.

This is not the first time Pakistan has had to pay compensation to the families of Chinese nationals affected by terror attacks. In January 2022, the government paid $11.6 million to 36 Chinese citizens, both dead and injured, in the wake of a previous attack on the Dasu hydropower project.

The upcoming visit by Prime Minister Sharif to China is expected to focus on furthering bilateral cooperation and launching the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

Earlier this month, the Islamabad Police compiled the data of Chinese residents. A comprehensive report regarding the Chinese population has been sent to the Ministry of Interior, revealing that there are 4,000 Chinese nationals residing in the city.

Also, read this

Beijing says attempts to sabotage China-Pakistan cooperation will not succeed

PM Shehbaz assures China of ‘high-level probe’ into attack

Pakistan vows to protect Chinese nationals, forms JIT to probe attack

In an interview with Aaj News, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong stressed the need for linking economic and security cooperation as he refuted rumours and false claims related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

“Development and security are two wings of a bird and two wheels of a vehicle,” he said in an interview with Shaukat Piracha on his show Rubaroo aired on April 18. “Security is the guarantee of development and development guarantees security.”

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terrorism

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Bisham attack

Chinese nationals in Pakistan