PM Shehbaz to oversee monthly meetings on security of Chinese citizens

Published April 5, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting on security in Islamabad on Friday. — APP
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting on security in Islamabad on Friday. — APP

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday decided to personally review monthly meetings on the overall security of the country, particularly that of Chinese citizens working on development projects.

The development comes a week after five Chinese engineers — and their Pakistani driver — were killed in a suicide bombing in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bisham while travelling between Islamabad and a hydroelectric dam construction site in Dasu. The bus was attacked in the Bisham city of KP’s Shangla district.

The attack prompted China to demand a thorough probe into the deadly blast and security for its citizens. In response, Islamabad had announced a swift probe to hold the “perpetrators and accomplices” accountable. Chinese investigators had also arrived to join the probe.

In response to the Chinese government’s demand to promptly investigate the incident and act against those involved, the government had also decided to form a joint investigation team to probe the attack.

Chairing a meeting in Islamabad regarding the law and order situation, the prime minister directed all relevant agencies to ensure foolproof security arrangements for Chinese nationals working on various projects.

“We will continue the war against the spectre of terrorism until it is eradicated from the country,” he was quoted as saying in a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The prime minister directed the interior ministry to eliminate terrorism from the country and increase collaboration with the provinces to further improve their anti-terrorism departments.

PM Shehbaz also gave instructions to devise a comprehensive strategy for the regular audit of security standard operating procedures.

Country plagued by political players resorting to violence: CM Maryam

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz said the country was plagued by terrorism through political players resorting to violence and weaponising politics.

CM Maryam was chairing the first meeting of the Punjab Apex Committee that was attended by Lahore Corps Commander Lt-General Syed Aamir Raza, Punjab Inspector General Police Usman Anwar and other senior military and government officials.

The meeting’s participants strongly condemned the death of Chinese nationals in the Bisham attack and agreed upon the effective implementation of a foolproof security policy, using all available resources, for Chinese citizens working on development projects in the province.

CM Maryam said Pakistan was one of the fortunate countries to have survived the “worst form of terrorism” and had also combated it effectively, appreciating the role of civilian and military law enforcement agencies for their role.

She also called for a revival of the National Action Plan and the need to “beef it up”.

The chief minister said the country was facing a “very complicated form of terrorism”. “We talk about the economy and everything being digitised but terrorism has also digitised due to technology. Terrorists have gone digital and cellular so there is a need for us to be ahead of them,” she added.

CM Maryam said she was informed that the gangs operating in South Punjab possessed more advanced technology and sophisticated than state personnel, adding that she planning an operation against them.

She further elaborated that the terrorism the country was facing was multifaceted such as right-wing terrorism that entailed the imposition of particular interpretations of religion on society and “left-wing terrorism in Balochistan”.

CM Maryam said “political fascism” had also turned into terrorism, specifically pointing to political parties and parties resorting to the use of violence and weaponising politics.

She criticised the events of May 9, 2023, when riots broke out after the arrest of former prime minister and PTI founder Imran Khan.

“Pakistan is plagued with a form of terrorism by political players who are now increasingly resorting to violence and weaponising politics.”

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