Senior police officials to be ‘punished’ on PM’s orders over Besham tragedy

In Local
April 06, 2024



LAHORE:

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered at least five senior police officials be punished for negligence after a suicide bomber killed five Chinese engineers at a major dam site last month, Information and Broadcasting Minister Attaullah Tarar said on Saturday.

The attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province forced Power China and the China Gezhouba Company to suspend work on two dam projects after the bombing killed the five workers and a Pakistani driver, sending their van into a deep ravine.

Hundreds of Chinese people are employed at the Dasu and Diamer Bhasha dam construction sites, located around 100 kilometres (62 miles) apart in the mountainous region.

Tarar said that a committee appointed by the prime minister identified a regional official, three district officials and the director of security at the Dasu dam project for their “negligence” in fulfilling their duties.

Read more: PM to personally oversee Chinese security

“The prime minister has ordered immediate action against these officials,” Tarar told a press conference in Lahore, without specifying what their punishment will be.

“The prime minister himself will be monitoring the security of Chinese (nationals). Those individuals who have shown negligence will be set as an example.”

Tarar said that security matters regarding Chinese citizens would be “treated with utmost seriousness and any lapses will not be tolerated.”

The information minister that the quick action was proof that no compromise would be tolerated on the security of the Chinese in future.

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

He further said that PM Shehbaz was personally supervising security matters pertaining to Chinese projects and the Chinese and an effective system was being evolved in this regard.

Operations by Power China have resumed at Diamer Bhasha while operations at China Gezhouba Group Company at Dasu remain closed.

Police have detained more than 12 people, including Afghan nationals, in connection with the bombing.

Beijing is Islamabad’s closest regional ally, frequently offering financial assistance to support its often-struggling neighbour and pouring more than $2 trillion into infrastructure projects.

The security of Chinese workers is a major concern to both countries, with nationals frequently targeted by militants hostile to outside influence.

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