Home Latest News Army Vows to Ensure Accountability for All Those Involved in Aiding Terrorism

Army Vows to Ensure Accountability for All Those Involved in Aiding Terrorism

China calls on Pakistan to ‘thoroughly investigate and severely punish perpetrators’ of Shangla attack

by Staff Report
A bus transporting Chinese nationals to Dasu Dam lies in a ravine in Besham

The bus transporting Chinese nationals fell into a ravine after being attacked en route to Dasu

Following a suicide bombing in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Besham tehsil that killed six people, including five Chinese engineers, the Pakistan Army on Tuesday vowed to ensure accountability for all those involved in aiding terrorism, either directly or indirectly, as China urged Pakistan to “severely punish” the perpetrators.

“The recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan, notably in Gwadar, Turbat, and Besham, are dastardly acts aimed at destabilizing the internal security situation,” read a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). “While the first two attempts were successfully thwarted by the armed forces, the latest incident at Besham led to the loss of six innocent civilians, including five Chinese nationals,” it noted, emphasizing the entire nation stood in solidarity with “our Chinese brothers” and unequivocally condemned this cowardly act.

Stressing that strategic projects and sensitive sites vital for Pakistan’s economic progress and the well-being of its people were targeted to “retard our progress and sow discord between Pakistan and its strategic allies and partners,” it maintained “certain foreign elements” were complicit in aiding and abetting terrorism in Pakistan. “Despite the veneer of innocence, these elements are being continuously exposed as sponsors of terror,” it added.

“Such heinous acts of violence against innocent civilians, foreigners and the armed forces will not deter the resolve of the Pakistani people, its security forces and our partners to root out the menace terrorism from our country,” said the military’s media wing. “Pakistan, as the frontline state against terror, remains perhaps the only nation directly confronting the international terrorist enterprise with absolute steadfastness and full resolve of the state,” it added.

“With the unwavering support of the resilient nation and our iron-clad ally China, we will ensure that all those involved in aiding terrorism, directly or indirectly, are held accountable and find their due comeuppance. Together we will prevail over adversity and evil,” it emphasized.

Immediately after the attack, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the Chinese embassy in Islamabad and extended condolences to the Chinese ambassador over the unfortunate incident. “We will not let such nefarious attempts to undermine the Pak-China friendship succeed. The enemies of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have again tried to interrupt it through such cowardly attempt but the enemy will never succeed in its evil designs,” he told the ambassador, who thanked him for visiting the embassy and showing personal interest in the investigation of the incident.

Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi also visited the embassy and personally informed the Chinese ambassador about the details of the attack and deaths of Chinese engineers.

In separate statements, President Asif Ali Zardari; Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar; Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari; and the chief ministers of Punjab, KP, Sindh, and Gilgit-Baltistan strongly condemned the attack, warning that such efforts to harm Pakistan’s ties with China would never succeed.

In a press briefing, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller also condemned the attack. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries sustained. We share our heartfelt condolences with those affected by the attack. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorists. I note that [Chinese] nationals in Pakistan have also been the victims of terrorist attacks and no country should suffer the acts of terror,” he said.

China seeks severe punishments

In a statement, the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan expressed deep condolence to the victims and sincere sympathy to the bereaved families, adding it was making every effort to handle the aftermath together with the Pakistani side. Noting it had launched an emergency plan, the embassy urged Pakistan to “thoroughly investigate the attack and severely punish the perpetrators.”

It said authorities were taking all necessary measures to protect the safety of Chinese citizens, institutions and projects in Pakistan, and to ensure such incidents do not reoccur. Additionally, it called on Chinese citizens and enterprises in Pakistan to pay close attention to the security situation, enhance security alerts, strengthen security measures, and make every effort to take safety precautions.

This is not the first time that Chinese nationals have been targeted in Dasu, the site of a major dam. In 2021, 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, were killed in an explosion. Resultantly, security of Chinese nationals was ramped up and they were directed to only travel in convoys.

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