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Pakistan agreed to Pay $2.5m to families of Chinese nationals who lost their lives in Bisham attack

The federal government has announced plans to compensate the families of five Chinese nationals who lost their lives in a terrorist attack near Besham, Swat, allocating around $2.5 million for this purpose, as per a report.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has instructed authorities to accelerate the disbursement of compensation before his upcoming visit to Beijing next month, according to sources cited by the news outlet.

The attack occurred on March 26, when a suicide bomber targeted the convoy of Chinese engineers traveling from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu, resulting in the deaths of five Chinese nationals. Dasu, the location of a major dam project, has experienced security challenges in the past, including a previous attack in 2021 that claimed the lives of nine Chinese nationals among others.

Following the incident, the Chinese government urged Pakistan to conduct a thorough investigation and enhance security measures to safeguard its citizens working in the country. Pakistan denounced the attack as an act of terrorism and vowed to apprehend those responsible, with indications pointing to terrorist infiltration from Afghanistan. Some arrests have since been made in connection with the attack.

The Inter-Services Public Relations, Pakistan’s military media wing, characterized the Bisham attack as a deliberate attempt to strain the relationship between Pakistan and China, emphasizing the importance of maintaining their strategic partnership.

Several security and police officials have been sacked due to their failure to adequately protect Chinese workers in Pakistan. Information Minister Attaullah Tarar disclosed that a committee appointed by Prime Minister Shehbaz identified key officials responsible for negligence at the Dasu dam project.

This incident is not the first time Pakistan has compensated families of Chinese nationals affected by terror attacks, with a prior payment made in January 2022 after an attack on the Dasu hydropower project.

Prime Minister Sharif’s forthcoming visit to China is anticipated to emphasize enhancing bilateral cooperation and initiating the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

Additionally, the Islamabad Police have compiled data on Chinese residents, revealing that approximately 4,000 Chinese nationals reside in the city.

In an interview, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong emphasized the necessity of linking economic and security cooperation, debunking rumors about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He stressed that security ensures development and vice versa.

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