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Minister announces JIT investigation into attack on Chinese engineers
  ·  2024-03-29  ·   Source: The Daily Mail, Pakistan

Information Minister Attaullah Tarar said on March 27 that a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) will be formed to probe the terrorist attack on Chinese engineers in Besham. Addressing the media following a high-level moot of the country's top security and civil officials, the minister said the meeting recognized the imperative of a "coordinated strategy" to tackle terrorism. 

The high-profile meeting was attended by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) Syed Asim Munir, federal ministers, chief ministers, chief secretaries, and IGPs of the four provinces. 

Tarar also said that it was decided to establish a mechanism aimed at enhancing collaboration among pertinent stakeholders. 

The minister emphasized the pivotal role of security forces in the fight against terrorism and said the commitment of all forces to "leave no stone unturned" was applauded in the meeting. 

He also condemned efforts by anti-Pakistan elements to disrupt the longstanding friendship between Pakistan and China, asserting that such attempts would be futile. 

The information minister lauded China's unwavering support during challenging times, highlighting its consistent backing of Pakistan's stance on international platforms. 

He underscored the critical significance of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a "lifeline" for economic progress, expressing Pakistan's solidarity with the Chinese people in their time of grief. 

"There are standard operating procedures in this regard and all out steps are taken to ensure their implementation," Tarar maintained while responding to the questions regarding the security protocols of Chinese nationals in Pakistan. 

In response to queries regarding security cooperation with provincial governments, Tarar affirmed the federal government's close coordination with Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa authorities. 

He disclosed PM Shehbaz's directive to CM Balochistan to expedite work on the Gwadar Safe City project – a federal funded project. Tarar said that the PM shall visit Gwadar in this regard on March 28. 

Tarar also announced plans to establish a counter-terrorism force (CTD) in K-P modeled after Punjab's "state of the art" CTD. 

PM Shehbaz Sharif had called a meeting earlier on March 27 to review the internal security situation, a day after six people, including five Chinese engineers, were killed in a terrorist attack. 

A day earlier, hours after security forces successfully fended off an attack by terrorists on a Pakistan Navy base in Turbat district of Balochistan, a vehicle-borne suicide bomber targeted a convoy escorting Chinese engineers in the remote Besham area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), killing six people. 

The Chinese engineers were en route from Islamabad to their camp in Dasu – the district headquarters of the Upper Kohistan district of K-P. Their vehicle was hit by an explosives-laden vehicle, coming from the opposite direction, near Lahore Nala on the Karakoram Highway.

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