PM orders thorough probe into Besham incident

In Local
March 27, 2024



ISLAMABAD:

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered a thorough joint investigation and utilization of all state resources on Wednesday to nab the perpetrators of the Besham suicide attack.

The attack claimed six lives, including five Chinese engineers who were working on the Dasu Hydel Power Project.

The prime minister offered deepest condolences to the families of the victims, assuring that the attackers of the barbaric act would be brought to justice swiftly.

Chairing a high-level emergency meeting in the aftermath of the attack, the prime minister appreciated the law enforcement agencies and locals’ “alacrity” that saved several precious lives.

The meeting was attended by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Asim Munir as well as federal ministers, chief ministers, chief secretaries, and inspector generals of police of respective provinces, a PM Office press release stated.

The meeting discussed in detail the heinous attack on civilians working on a development project that would ensure energy and water security in Pakistan.

The prime minister underscored the enduring bond between the people of Pakistan and China and conveyed that the whole nation was saddened by the loss of Chinese lives.

He stated, “Terrorism is a trans-national threat that has been instrumentalized by the enemies of Pakistan to stymie Pakistan’s progress and development. The acts targeting Pakistan-China friendship are particularly aimed at creating mistrust between the two iron brothers.”

The participants of the meeting expressed resolute commitment to completely rooting out terrorism from the country and expressed serious concerns over sanctuaries available to terrorists across the borders. They emphasized the need for a regional approach to countering terrorism.

Read PM Shehbaz likely to visit China amid renewed terror threat

During the meeting, the COAS reiterated the armed forces’ resolve to eliminate the scourge of terrorism afflicting the country. COAS Gen Munir stated that the nation had steadfastly fought the war on terror for the last two decades and defeated the nefarious designs of Pakistan’s adversaries.

 Noting the recent surge in terrorist incidents, the army chief remarked that the country’s enemies had once again underestimated the resilience and grit of the state and the people of Pakistan.

He said, “We shall fight terrorism till every terrorist casting an evil eye on Pakistan, its people, and their guests, is eliminated; we shall not leave any stone unturned to ensure that every foreign citizen, especially the Chinese nationals, contributing to the prosperity of Pakistan, is safe and secure in Pakistan. We shall fight terrorism with all our might, to the very end.”

The attack

A day earlier, hours after security forces successfully fended off an attack by Baloch terrorists on a Pakistan Navy base in Turbat district of Balochistan, a vehicle-borne suicide bomber targeted a convoy escorting Chinese engineers in the remote Besham area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), killing six people.

The Chinese engineers were en route from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu – the district headquarters of the Upper Kohistan district of K-P. Their vehicle was hit by an explosives-laden vehicle, coming from the opposite direction, near Lahore Nala on the Karakoram Highway.

According to a Chinese Embassy statement, a Chinese company’s bus, carrying staff, working on the Dasu Hydropower Project, was hit by a terrorist attack at around 1 pm. Malakand Deputy Inspector General Muhammad Ali Gandapur confirmed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

The Chinese engineers’ vehicle was thrown off the mountainous road into a deep ravine by the impact of the blast, killing all six on board, including five Chinese engineers and their Pakistani driver. The security forces reached the spot, shut the strategic highway for traffic on both sides and launched an investigation.

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