LAHORE: Prime Mini­ster Shehbaz Sharif has ordered action against five senior police officers over negligence and security lapse, which led to the Bisham terror attack in which five Chinese engin­eers were killed last week.

While addressing a press conference on Satur­day, Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar said the action has been ordered against the police chiefs of Hazara division, Upper Kohistan and Lower Kohistan districts; Dasu Hydropower Project security director; and the commandant of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Special Security Unit.

Mr Tarar added that PM Shehbaz visited the Chin­ese embassy and met the ambassador after the attack.

The PM also went to Dasu and met Chin­ese engineers working on the hydropower project to boost their morale and give a message that Pakistan holds its friendship with China in high regard, the minister added.

A committee was formed for an inquiry into the attack, Mr Tarar said, adding that since the attack, the premier also held several meetings on the security of Chinese workers.

“Mr Sharif is personally supervising the matter of security for Chinese projects, and an effective system is being developed.”

The armed forces and law enforcement agencies were determined to root out terrorism and “would not allow anybody to harm the country’s peace”.

Foolproof security for Chinese

Separately, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi has also directed the officials to ensure foolproof security for Chinese citizens in Pakistan.

While presiding over a meeting on security arrangements for Chinese citizens residing in Pakistan, the minister said SOPs must be followed when it comes to the protection of foreigners in general and Chinese in particular.

“The enemies of the state do not want Pakistan to prosper, but they are mistaken. We will not let them achieve their nefarious designs.”

During the meeting, Mr Naqvi called the protection of foreigners, especially Chinese citizens, a “top priority” and condemned the intentions of “nefarious elements seeking to disrupt the development and prosperity of Pakistan”.

He affirmed that the government would not allow such malicious agenda to succeed.

The meeting was also given a comprehensive briefing on the existing measures in place to protect foreigners.

The meeting took place a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decided to personally review monthly meetings on the overall security of the country, particularly that of Chinese citizens working on development projects.

Since the Bisham attack, several high-level meetings have been held to ensure the security of Chinese workers in Pakistan.

Iftikhar A. Khan in Islamabad also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2024

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