Zardari vows swift action against perpetrators of Besham attack

In Local
March 27, 2024

President Asif Ali Zardari, in a visit to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China on Wednesday, extended heartfelt condolences on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan following the tragic killing of Chinese citizens in a recent terrorist attack in Besham.

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

According to a press release issued by the President’s Secretariat, Zardari strongly condemned the heinous act, expressing solidarity with the Chinese people in their time of mourning.

The president said that the Pakistani nation shared the grief of the Chinese people, adding that the people of Pakistan stood in solidarity with the Chinese people in this hour of grief.

Read more: PM orders thorough probe into Besham incident, vows to bring culprits to justice

Upon his arrival, Zardari was received by the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Pakistan, Jiang Zaidong. The Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also present on the occasion.

During the meeting, the president said that enemies in the region couldn’t accept the fact that Pakistan and China were further strengthening their bilateral ties.

He assured the Chinese Ambassador that the criminals involved in the gruesome act would be apprehended and brought to justice. He further said that all necessary measures would be taken to ensure the security of the Chinese citizens working on various projects in Pakistan.

The Chinese Ambassador thanked the president for personally visiting the embassy to offer condolences. He appreciated that Pakistanis from all walks of life had condemned the terrorist attack.

Zaidong highlighted that Chinese workers had made outstanding contributions towards Pakistan’s socio-economic development. He said that terrorists were enemies of humanity and needed to be hunted down for targeting innocent people.

He underscored the need for increasing counterterrorism cooperation and providing enhanced security to Chinese workers in Pakistan. The ambassador reiterated his country’s resolve to further strengthen cooperation with Pakistan and continue its support for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other projects.

While registering his remarks in the visitor’s book at the Chinese Embassy, the president stated that the inhuman attack struck at the core of shared values and the enduring friendship between the two countries.

“This incident was orchestrated by the enemies of Pakistan-China friendship”, he added. He also wrote that Pakistan would never allow terrorists to undermine our shared goals for peace, prosperity and security in the region.

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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