Pakistan terror attack: Bodies of Chinese nationals killed in blast flown back to Wuhan

The bodies of five Chinese personnel who were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Pakistan have been flown to Wuhan on a special Pakistani military plane Monday as Beijing planned to step up security measures to protect hundreds of its workers employed in CPEC projects amid increasing attacks by militants.

On March 26, five Chinese nationals, including a woman and their Pakistani driver, were killed in a major terrorist attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Thousands of Chinese personnel are working in Pakistan on several projects under the aegis of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China rushed its investigators to Pakistan last Friday to probe their deaths as more Chinese firms have stopped work on hydropower projects in the restive north-west region.

“Today, the remains of the five Chinese victims who were killed in a terrorist attack on the Dasu project in Pakistan are brought back to China on a Pakistani military plane,” the spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry Wang Wenbin said during a media briefing.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif ordered a thorough joint investigation into the deadly terrorist attack on Chinese nationals, as Beijing pressed Islamabad to speed up the hunt for the perpetrators and take effective steps to protect Chinese personnel working in the count.

Wang said China firmly supports Pakistan in looking into what happened with utmost resolve and effort, bringing the perpetrators and whoever is behind the attack to justice and everything possible to protect the safety and security of Chinese personnel projects and institutions in Pakistan.

This is the second suicide bomb attack on Chinese personnel working on the Dasu power project.

Pakistan’s state-run APP reported that the special plane brought the bodies to the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Chaudhry Salik Hussain too travelled by the plane.

A special ceremony was held to pay homage to the five deceased personnel, the report said.

Earlier, the Chinese Defence spokesperson, Sr Col Wu Qian told media that the PLA is willing to work with the Pakistan military to enhance its capability of tackling various security risks and challenges, especially the ability to respond to terrorist attacks and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.

It is not clear yet whether the current joint investigations into the attack will lead to the joint security measures which may lead to the deployment of Chinese security personnel in large numbers.

Chinese security experts believe the latest attack is a copy of the July 2021 Dasu terror attack in which nine Chinese nationals and four Pakistani citizens were killed and there was no breakthrough in the investigations into that attack.

The deadly March 26 attack on Chinese workers in Pakistan has shaken their confidence and some of them are planning to leave the country over security reasons, according to Pakistan’s security analyst Muhammad Amir Rana.

“The attack has caused significant alarm. Apart from disrupting these vital infrastructure projects, it has shaken the confidence of Chinese nationals working in Pakistan. Reports indicate some are considering leaving the country due to safety concerns,” he wrote in Dawn newspaper on Sunday.

Rana said that the Pakistani government has repeatedly pledged to bring the perpetrators to justice. However, the recent incident has eroded trust and Chinese social media reflects growing anxiety, with calls for stricter security measures to protect Chinese lives, he said.

While no one claimed responsibility, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Balochistan Liberation Army, and the Islamic State-Khorasan were suspected to have been involved in the attack.

The TTP has been projected as the prime suspect, as one of its commanders was declared the mastermind behind a similar attack on the Chinese in Kohistan in 2021, and the names of a few TTP commanders who may have orchestrated the attack are circulating in the media, Rana said.

Published On:

Apr 1, 2024

Leave a Comment