China Asks Pakistan To ‘Severely Punish’ Bus Attackers After Blast Kills 13 Including Nine Chinese Nationals Working On Dasu Hydropower Project

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China called for the swift arrest of the attackers behind a bus blast in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which killed 13 people including nine Chinese nationals working on Dasu hydropower project.

The Dasu hydroelectric project is a large-scale energy infrastructure project executed as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a US$65 billion investment plan under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative that is aimed at connecting western China to the Gwadar seaport in southern Pakistan.

In recent years, the terrorist groups in Pakistan have targeted Chinese projects in the country, and launched attacks on Chinese tourists, as well as businessmen.

China called for the swift arrest of the attackers behind a bus blast in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province which killed 13 people including nine Chinese nationals working on Dasu hydropower project.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian urged Pakistan to “severely punish” the perpetrators “and earnestly protect the safety of Chinese nationals, organisations and projects” in the country.

The Chinese embassy asked Pakistan to make an all-out rescue effort and treat the injured at all cost, strengthen security for Chinese institutions, projects and personnel, and find out the truth behind the incident as soon as possible.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry however provided a conflicting version of the incident. A statement by the ministry said that the bus carrying Chinese workers in Khyber Pakhunkhwa Province plunged into a ravine after a mechanical failure resulting in leakage of gas that caused the blast.

The Dasu hydroelectric project is a large-scale energy infrastructure project executed as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a US$65 billion investment plan under Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative that is aimed at connecting western China to the Gwadar seaport in southern Pakistan.

Global Times quoted Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, as saying that the bomb attack is likely to be handiwork of Balochistan terrorists or the Pakistani Taliban organization Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is the most troubled region in Pakistan, as it borders Afghanistan and is home to the Pakistani Taliban, he added

In recent years, the terrorist groups in Pakistan have targeted Chinese projects in the country, and launched attacks on Chinese tourists, as well as businessmen.

In April this year, a car bomb exploded in the parking lot of a luxury hotel in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Baluchistan Province, killing five people and injuring 12 others. No Chinese citizens were injured in the incident. The Pakistani Taliban organization later claimed responsibility for the attack.

In 2019, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Balochistan overlooking a flagship Chinese-backed project – the deep-water seaport in Gwadar that gives China strategic access to the Arabian Sea – killing at least eight people.

In May 2017, two Chinese nationals were killed in southwestern Balochistan province, Pakistan, days after they were kidnapped by armed men pretending to be policemen from the city of Quetta.

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