Five officials to be punished over Bisham attack

Minister says PM’s orders came after Shangla inquiry found them guilty of negligence

​ Our Correspondents April 06, 2024
Chinese workers were targeted by a suicide bomber who rammed into their vehicle on a mountainous road near one of the dam sites. PHOTO: AFP


Information Minister Attaullah Tarar on Saturday said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had ordered action against five officials over their “negligence” in light of an inquiry report on the suicide attack on March 26 in which six people, including five Chinese engineers, working on the Dasu Hydropower Project lost their lives in the Bisham area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Shangla district.

Addressing a news conference in Lahore, Tarar said the premier had directed to take disciplinary action within 15 days against the Hazara Division regional police officer; Upper Kohistan district police officer (DPO), Lower Kohistan DPO, security director for the Dasu Hydropower Project and commandant of the K-P Special Security Unit.

“The inquiry report found that these security officials were negligent in their duties and should have remained alert on the day of the [attack],” he added.

The minister explained that the action being taken on the inquiry report was an example for taking the security of Chinese nationals more seriously in the future and no lapse would be tolerated in this connection.

Tarar said Pakistan wanted peace in the region but its desire should not be misconstrued as a weakness.

“We are taking the matter of the security of the Chinese nationals very seriously. The prime minister is personally overseeing the security of the Chinese projects and engineers.”

Also read: President reaffirms Pakistan's commitment to protecting Chinese workers

The minister continued that an effective system was being chalked out for this purpose.

“We pay homage to all those who sacrificed their lives in war against terrorism.”

In response to the Chinese government’s demand to immediately investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice, the government formed a joint investigation team to probe into the incident.

The minister said Pakistan valued its friendly ties with China.

He pointed out that after the attack, PM Shehbaz immediately went to the Chinese embassy and met with its envoy.

He added that the premier also personally visited Dasu to boost the morale of the Chinese engineers and offered his condolences to them.

In a related development, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi ordered foolproof security steps for the Chinese nationals in the country.

According to a news statement issued by his ministry, Naqvi issued these orders while presiding over a meeting in Islamabad on the security arrangements for Chinese citizens.

He emphasised the protection of foreigners, especially Chinese citizens, in Pakistan “at all costs”.
The minister directed the implementation of standard operating procedures for the security of foreigners, particularly Chinese nationals.

“The enemies of the state do not want Pakistan to prosper, but they are mistaken. We will not let the nefarious motives of the miscreants be successful,” the statement quoted him as telling the huddle’s participants, who included Interior Secretary Khurram Agha and other senior officials of the ministry.

The attack had forced Power China and the China Gezhouba Company to suspend work on two dam projects.

Hundreds of Chinese people are employed at the Dasu and Diamer Bhasha dam construction sites. Operations by Power China have resumed at Diamer Bhasha. However, the China Gezhouba Group Company’s operations at Dasu remain suspended.

(With input from AFP)


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ