AT least twelve people including nine Chinese and two Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel were killed and 41 others injured when a coach plunged into a ravine after an explosion in Upper Kohistan on Wednesday.
The vehicle, which was damaged after the blast, was taking Chinese workers and engineers to the 4300 megawatt under-construction Dasu Hydropower Project.
It was indeed a tragic incident involving Chinese engineers and workers that are here in Pakistan to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.
There were conflicting reports about what actually happened as initial reports by an international wire agency described it as a dastardly terrorist attack and the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan also referred to it as an attack, in his statement in the Senate when he offered condolences on loss of precious lives.
The Pakistan Foreign Office described it as an ‘accident’ but a statement by Chinese Embassy in Islamabad called it an attack urging the authorities concerned to strengthen security of the Chinese citizens, institutions and projects in Pakistan, and investigate the incident thoroughly, All this is pathetic as Dasu Hydropower Project is one of the flagship projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) but lack of clarity as to what actually transpired and the conflicting versions of the local administration, provincial government, Foreign Office and official statement of the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs reflected utter lack of communication and coordination.
For understandable reasons, there is special security for CPEC projects and the Chinese manpower working on them and with this in view it should not have been difficult to get an authentic version immediately.
Irrespective of whether it was an accident or an attack, the conspiracies being hatched by some regional and global powers against CPEC projects demand extreme vigilance on the part of those assigned with the security of projects and personnel.
These forces are actively working to undermine progress of CPEC projects, deny their fruits to the people of Pakistan and the country and create misunderstanding between Pakistan and China.
There is no doubt the Chinese leadership and people are fully aware of such attempts and are determined to foil their designs but it is need of the hour to beef up security for Chinese nationals and CPEC projects.