15:55 GMT26 July 2021
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    A bus explosion at Dasu Dam, a hydroelectric power project in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, on 14 July led to the death of nine Chinese and three Pakistani nationals. While Pakistan said that the incident happened after the bus plunged into a ravine due to a “mechanical failure”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry says it was a “bomb attack”.

    Pakistan's former interior minister Rehman Malik has accused 'India-branded Daesh*' of being behind the blast at Dasu Dam, an attack which is being jointly probed by Chinese and Pakistani authorities.

    “I have confirmed information that there was solid evidence of the direct involvement of India in the Dasu incident,” Malik said during a media interview on Monday.

    The Pakistani politician served as the nation’s interior minister from 2008 until 2013.

    “I warn India that we will defeat all the conspiracies of [Indian Prime Minister Narendra] Modi and his intelligence agencies to destabilise Pakistan through RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of India’s ruling BJP] and Daesh as we have the technology which can identify the Indian branded Daesh and other enemies,” added Malik.

    Malik went on to allege that the US and India wanted to target the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and so Islamabad must step up security at projects which are part of the Beijing-backed infrastructure and connectivity initiative.

    Dasu Dam is one of the several hydro-electric projects which are part of the CPEC, a $65 billion project which has been described as the flagship initiative of China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) programme. The CPEC projects stretch from China’s Xinjiang province to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar, which lies in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.

     

    The serious allegations levied by the former cabinet minister were made against the backdrop of an ongoing investigation into the Dasu Dam incident, which Beijing has described as “shocking”.

    “China has asked the Pakistani side to thoroughly get to the bottom of this as soon as possible, arrest the perpetrators, severely punish them and earnestly protect the safety of Chinese personnel, institutions and projects in Pakistan,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at the daily briefing on 14 July.

    The Chinese state news outlet Global Times has called the incident the “most serious” attack on Chinese nationals in recent years.

    Following the incident, the China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC), the contractor building the Dasu Dam, terminated more than 2,500 Pakistani workers.

    However, the termination order was revoked on 18 July, in another notice issued by the Chinese company.

    * a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries

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    Tags:
    China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Daesh, India, Pakistan, China
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