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Five Chinese citizens lost their lives in an attack in Bisham, KP, as reported by local police authorities

In Bisham tehsil, Shangla, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a tragic incident occurred where six individuals, comprising five Chinese nationals and one Pakistani, lost their lives during an assault on their convoy. This information was confirmed by the regional police chief and a station house officer.

Reuters reported that Mohammad Ali Gandapur, the local police chief, stated there was an incident where a suicide bomber drove a vehicle filled with explosives into a group of Chinese engineers’ convoy. This convoy was traveling from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu. As a result of this attack, Gandapur confirmed the unfortunate loss of five Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver.

The local authorities, including provincial police, arrived at the scene and initiated relief efforts. Gandapur mentioned that the remaining people in the convoy were safeguarded. Bisham’s Station House Officer, Bakht Zahir, further confirmed this, stating that the unfortunate event resulted in six casualties – five Chinese engineers and one Pakistani individual.

He announced that it was a “suicide bombing” and the relevant authorities were gathering evidence. In response, security measures were reinforced at the location, and the injured were being transported to a hospital for treatment. The SHO then stated, “We will examine the origin and circumstances of the suicide bomber’s vehicle and how this tragic event unfolded.”

Sheraz Khan, the head of the Rescue 1122 station, mentioned that the victims were being transported to the Bisham Tehsil Headquarters Hospital. Following the explosion, the Chinese passengers’ vehicle plummeted into a gorge and ignited, as stated by the rescue official. Upon arrival at the scene, the rescue team successfully extinguished the flames.

In July 2021, a tragic accident occurred involving a coach transporting 13 individuals, among them nine Chinese nationals, to a work site for the under-construction 4,300-megawatt Dasu hydropower project in Upper Kohistan. Unfortunately, the incident led to a fatal fall into a ravine following an explosion.

Initially, the Foreign Office classified the event as an accident; however, later on, the government discovered evidence of explosives, leading the information minister at the time to consider that “terrorism could not be ruled out.” In November 2022, an anti-terrorism court in Hazara sentenced two men to death following their conviction for orchestrating the attack.

Condemnations

President Asif Ali Zardari firmly denounced the assault and expressed profound sorrow regarding the demise of the Chinese citizens. In an official declaration from the Presidency, he extended his sympathies to the bereaved families of the Chinese nationals and the neighboring administration.

President Zardari firmly stated that those opposing Pakistan-China camaraderie will never be able to harm their relationship. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi denounced the “suicide attack” and extended his “deepest sympathies” to the affected families.

The minister declared, “We strongly support the Chinese government and the bereaved families during this time of sorrow. As a close ally, the assault on China’s citizens is also an attack on Pakistan. We will retaliate firmly against the enemy responsible for this act.”

The National Assembly Speaker, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Deputy Speaker Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah both denounced the incident and expressed their sorrow over it. In a declaration released by the NA secretariat, Sadiq commented, “Attacking Chinese citizens through terrorism is a heinous plan. Terrorists are targeting innocent people to achieve their malicious objectives.”

Emphasizing the strong bond between Pakistan and China, the NA speaker declared that the assault on Chinese nationals was “unbearable” since China is considered a “loyal and trusted friend.”

Sadiq and Shah stated that Parliament and the public demonstrated their support and sympathy for the grieving families. They emphasized in their statement, “It is crucial for law enforcement agencies to apprehend and bring to justice the individuals responsible for inciting this act of terrorism.” Privatisation Minister Abdul Aleem Khan also expressed his deep disappointment and condemnation of the attack.

In a social media post, the individual discussed how an adversary is attempting to undermine the strong bond between Pakistan and China, specifically targeting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as part of a calculated scheme. However, the speaker remains confident that the nation, in collaboration with the Pakistan Army, will successfully counter these malicious intentions.

Subsequently, former foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, expressing his disapproval and sorrow over the loss of Chinese lives due to the attack, released a statement on the same platform. He emphasized the importance of imposing severe consequences on those responsible for orchestrating and aiding the act of terrorism.

Offering sympathy to the Chinese administration and hoping for the swift healing of the wounded, he declared, “The culprits behind the Bisham incident will not escape justice.”

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