Chinese company halts civil works in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after Besham suicide attack

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chinese killed in suicide attack
Aftermath of attack on Chinese engineers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Photo: X)

In the wake of a devastating suicide attack targeting Chinese nationals in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, a Chinese company has taken drastic measures in response to growing security concerns. Two days after the tragic incident that claimed the lives of five Chinese engineers at a hydropower project in the region, Power Construction Corporation of China (PCCC) announced the suspension of civil works and the layoff of hundreds of workers at another hydropower project within the same volatile province.

The fatal attack occurred at the Dasu hydropower project in Bisham city of Shangla district where the Chinese engineers were enroute to Islamabad. Another individual was also killed in the incident. So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing.

In response to heightened security risks, Chinese company PCCC halted operations at the Tarbela 5th Extension Hydropower Project in Swabi district and terminated over 2,000 workers. The decision was made in consideration of the safety of project personnel, as confirmed by the manager (administration) of PCCC.

While the layoff affects a significant portion of the workforce, it is emphasized that these workers have not lost their jobs under labour laws and are entitled to receive partial salaries until they resume duties. Efforts to bolster security measures for project employees are reportedly underway.

Chinese company reluctant to trust Pakistan

Despite the suspension of work, authorities assure minimal disruption to the completion timeline of the Tarbela extension project (T5), which is scheduled for May 2026 with funding support from the World Bank ($390 million) and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ($300 million).

Following the latest attack, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered a comprehensive joint investigation to swiftly apprehend those responsible and enhance security measures for Chinese personnel working in the country. While Pakistan and China both boast the normalcy and extend trust in each other on the diplomatic table, on ground reluctance of China is clearly visible from the recent incident.

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