Friday May 24, 2024

Army vows action against perpetrators of Shangla attack as Chinese engineers among 6 killed

Woman among five Chinese engineers and a Pakistani national killed in dastardly suicide attack in Shangla

By Web Desk
March 26, 2024
The picture shows the site of the sucide attack in Shanglas Besham city on March 26, 2024. — X
The picture shows the site of the sucide attack in Shangla's Besham city on March 26, 2024. — X

After a dastardly terrorist attack that killed six including five Chinese nationals in Shangla on Tuesday, the military pledged to ensure accountability of all the elements involved in aiding terrorism, directly or indirectly, with the help of Pakistan's long-standing ally China, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday.

As the country witnessed rise in terrorism, another militant attack sent shock waves across the country when an explosives-laden vehicle crashed into a car carrying five Chinese engineers in Shangla's Besham city while they rode to Dasu camp, Kohistan from Islamabad, killing all passengers including a woman and Pakistani national driver. 

“Certain foreign elements are complicit in aiding and abetting terrorism in Pakistan, driven by their vested interests. Despite the veneer of innocence, these elements are being continuously exposed as sponsors of terror,” the military’s media wing said in a statement condemning the attack.

It said that the recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan, notably in Gwadar, Turbat, and Besham, are dastardly acts aimed at destabilising the internal security situation.

While the first two attempts were successfully thwarted by the armed forces, the latest incident in Besham led to the loss of six innocent civilians including five Chinese nationals.

The whole nation stands in solidarity with our Chinese brothers and unequivocally condemned this cowardly act, the ISPR added.

“Strategic projects and sensitive sites vital for Pakistan’s economic progress and the well-being of its people are being targeted as a conscious effort to retard our progress and sow discord between Pakistan and its strategic allies and partners, most notably China,” it said.

The military’s media wing further stated that 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 of terrorism from the country.

“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.

“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 added.

The attack

Confirming attack on Chinese nationals, Malakand deputy inspector general of police (DIG) said that a Pakistani citizen who was driving the targeted car was injured in the attack and was shifted to a local hospital.

Later, the driver succumbed to his wounds during treatment.

After the attack, a heavy contingent of security personnel arrived at the incident’s site and cordoned off the area. Security forces have launched a search operation in the area for the suspects.

Taking notice of the incident, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the Chinese embassy in Islamabad and extended condolences to the Chinese ambassador over the unfortunate incident.

Earlier, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi also visited the embasy informed the Chinese ambassador about the details of the attack and deaths of Chinese engineers.

Reacting to the incident, President Asif Ali Zardari, Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Haji Gulber Khan, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Punjab, KP and Sindh chief ministers and others strongly condemned the attack, saying that such efforts to harm Pakistan’s ties with China will never get successful.

Today’s attack follows a militant attack on Pakistan Navy base, PNS Siddique in Turbat, which was successfully foiled by the security forces, as the country witnesses a spike in such attacks, resulting in deaths of several civilians and law enforcement officials.

A fierce terrorist attack on a security forces' check post in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, KP on March 16, resulted in martyrdom of seven Pakistan Army soldiers — including a lieutenant colonel and captain.

The military has said that the continuous use of Afghan soil is behind the “growing terrorism in Pakistan”, saying that the rise in terror attacks is a result of supply of modern weapons into the country “with the help of Afghan Taliban”.