Home China Five Chinese among six killed in Bisham attack, PM, COAS condemn terrorist attack

Five Chinese among six killed in Bisham attack, PM, COAS condemn terrorist attack

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PESHAWAR: At least six people, including five Chinese nationals, were killed in an explosion when their convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber in the Bisham area of Shangla district on Tuesday, a top police officer said.

A suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of Chinese engineers which was on its way from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, said DIG Malakand Mohammad Ali Gandapur.

“Five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver were killed in the attack,” Gandapur confirmed.

A large contingent of law enforcers reached the site soon after the attack and cordoned off the area. Traffic on the route has come to a standstill as authorities investigate the attack.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, and met with Chinese Ambassador Jiang Zaidong to offer condolence over the death of Chinese nationals in the suicide attack.

“Once again, the adversaries of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have plotted to disrupt it through such cowardly acts,” Sharif said in a statement.

“However, they will never succeed in their malevolent ambitions.”

In a statement, the Chinese embassy strongly condemned the terrorist attack, requesting the Pakistani side to thoroughly investigate the attack and severely punish the perpetrators.

“The Chinese Embassy and Consulates General in Pakistan strongly condemn this terrorist attack, express deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the bereaved families, and are making every effort to handle the aftermath together with the Pakistani side,” it said.

It said the Chinese embassy and consulates general in Pakistan have launched an emergency plan immediately, adding that the Chinese side is taking all necessary measures to protect the safety of Chinese citizens, institutions and projects in Pakistan, and to ensure such incidents will not happen again.

The Chinese embassy and consulates general in Pakistan remind Chinese citizens, enterprises in Pakistan to pay close attention to the security situation, enhance security alerts, strengthen security measures, and make every effort to take safety precautions.

In July 2021, nine Chinese nationals and four Pakistanis were killed and around two dozen others suffered injuries when a shuttle bus they were travelling in plunged into a deep ravine after an explosion on board.

The bus was ferrying the Chinese and Pakistani workers to an under-construction tunnel site of the Dasu Hydropower Project in the remote Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Then foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi blamed Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) for orchestrating the attack.

Military vows to punish culprits

In a strongly worded statement issued later in the evening, military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said “the whole nation stands in solidarity with our Chinese brothers and unequivocally condemns this cowardly act.”

It said the recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan, notably in Gwadar, Turbat, and Besham, are dastardly acts aimed at destabilising the internal security situation. “While the first two attempts were successfully thwarted by the armed forces, the latest incident at Besham led to the loss of 6 innocent civilians including 5 Chinese nationals.

“Strategic projects and sensitive sites vital for Pakistan’s economic progress and the well-being of its people are being targeted as a conscious effort to retard our progress and sow discord between Pakistan and its strategic allies and partners, most notably China. Certain foreign elements are complicit in aiding and abetting terrorism in Pakistan, driven by their vested interests. Despite the veneer of innocence, these elements are being continuously exposed as sponsors of terror.

“Such heinous acts of violence against innocent civilians, foreigners and the armed forces will not deter the resolve of the Pakistani people, its security forces and our partners to root out the menace terrorism from our country. Pakistan, as the frontline state against terror, remains perhaps the only nation directly confronting the international terrorist enterprise with absolute steadfastness and full resolve of the state.

“With the unwavering support of the resilient nation and our iron-clad ally China, we will ensure that all those involved in aiding terrorism, directly or indirectly, are held accountable and find their due comeuppance. Together we will prevail over adversity and evil. INSHALLAH”

Meanwhile, the foreign office has unequivocally condemned the abhorrent act of terrorism, affirming the nation’s commitment to taking “all necessary measures to bring the terrorists and their facilitators to justice.” Additionally, it asserted that “such cowardly acts cannot weaken the resolve of the Pakistani nation to combat the scourge of terrorism.”

The FO further stated that the attack was orchestrated by the “enemies of Pakistan-China friendship,” emphasising the government’s unwavering determination to “resolutely confront all such hostile forces and thwart their efforts.”

Expressing solidarity with our Chinese allies during this challenging period, the FO extended heartfelt condolences to the families of the Chinese nationals who tragically lost their lives in the attack.

“Pakistan and China share a bond of close friendship and brotherhood. The safety and well-being of Chinese nationals in Pakistan remain of paramount importance. Pakistan remains steadfast in collaboration with our Chinese counterparts to ensure the safety and security of Chinese nationals, projects, and institutions within Pakistan,” it maintained.