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Shehbaz Orders Fool-Proof Security For Chinese Workers

This comes after a terrorist attack resulting in the death of five Chinese nationals in Pakistan, reports Asian Lite News

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed all the security agencies to ensure fool-proof security arrangements for the Chinese citizens working on various projects in Pakistan following a recent terrorist attack in Shangla district on March 26, as reported by Geo News.

The terrorist attack had targeted a vehicle, resulting in the killing of a woman five Chinese nationals, and a Pakistani driver.

Subsequently, work on the hydropower project has been suspended since the attack, as per Geo News.

The victims were killed when an explosive-laden vehicle hit the bus carrying them on the Karakoram Highway in the Bisham area on March 26.

While chairing a meeting in Islamabad focused on the nation’s security, he emphasised the need for stringent security measures to safeguard Chinese nationals involved in various projects across Pakistan.

According to Geo News, PM Sharif said that he had decided to personally review the meetings concerning the overall security of the country, especially the security of Chinese citizens.

Additionally, he stated that the war against the menace of terror will continue until its eradication from the country.

He directed the interior ministry to increase collaboration with the provinces to further improve the provincial anti-terrorism departments.

Security personnel are seen at the incident site after five Chinese nationals were killed in a suicide attack in Shangla, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. (Photo: IANS)

The PM also directed to chalk out a comprehensive strategy for the regular audit of the security standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The meeting was attended by the federal interior minister, heads of security institutes and relevant authorities. PM Shehbaz was briefed about the comprehensive security situation in the country. He vowed to continue waging war against terrorism until its annihilation.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Home Department asked relevant authorities to upgrade the security for Dasu Hydropower Project amid the terrorist attack.

Chinese engineers are currently working on several projects in Pakistan, with Beijing investing over USD 65 billion in infrastructure works as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under Beijing’s wider Belt and Road initiative.

In a letter, the KP Home Department asked the inspector general of police, Upper Kohistan deputy commissioner, project director and other relevant authorities to provide security so that work could be resumed on the dam project.

The News on March 29 reported that civil work at the sites of the Dasu and Diamer-Bhasha Dams had been temporarily suspended by the Chinese companies overseeing operations due to security concerns, a day after work was also suspended at the Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project.

Around 991 Chinese engineers were working on both projects, while the local staff had been told to stay at home till further instructions, an official working on the project confirmed to the publication.

Around 741 Chinese and 6,000 locals are working on the 4,320 MW Dasu Dam in District Upper Kohistan.

Work on the Mohmand Dam in KP remains ongoing, with Chinese engineers continuing their operations at the site.

Similarly, the General Manager of Diamer-Bhasha Dam (DBD), Nazakat Hussain, also confirmed that the Chinese company had suspended work on the dam.

“Around 500 Chinese nationals were engaged in DBD but the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) staff continues to work. Around 6,000 locals are busy with dam construction,” He said.

He hoped that the situation would normalise in a few days, leading to the return of Chinese employees. The Diamer-Bhasha Dam would produce 4,800 MW of electricity through hydropower generation.

Once completed, the Mohmand Dam will generate 740 MWs of hydroelectricity, irrigate 15,100 acres of land and control floods downstream. (ANI)

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