Dasu dam blast : Pakistan

Attack on Chinese company bus in Dasu: Army arrival in the city, additional security measures and checkpoints set up

Between 30 and 40 people stand sadly in front of a monument on the grounds of the Wrath Company. The plaque, made of cement and tiles, bears the names of nine Chinese and four Pakistanis. Flowers were laid here and then a minute of silence and prayers were offered for the 13 people who were killed in a bomb blast in Dasu three weeks ago.

It may be recalled that on July 14, a bus collided with a vehicle in the Upper Kohistan region of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

At least 13 people, including Chinese engineers, were killed. The Chinese engineers and other crew were on their way to work on the Dasu Hydropower Project in the usual morning shift in two buses.

Pakistani officials initially described it as an accident caused by a gas leak, but later said the possibility of terrorism could not be ruled out

The Chinese company Ghazoba had fired more than 2,000 Pakistani staff , but the notice was withdrawn a day later.

Staff returning home from the project on Eid holidays have been reinstated, but hundreds of workers, including many staff members, are still waiting to return to work.

One of the four Chinese companies reportedly has limited operations in the Dasu Officers' Colony.

Five hundred meters from the Bursin camp on the main Karakoram highway, where a vehicle collided with a Chinese company bus, there are still burnt seats and parts of the bus, and the surrounding grass and bushes burned. Are visible.

Locals say the VIP movement on the main highway only happens when an important Chinese or Pakistani delegation arrives here.

When contacted, an official of the Chinese company said that when the army arrived, it was heard that work would start by August 14. However, he says that until the company makes a final announcement, we cannot be sure of a return to work.

He says that even 15% of the work of this project has not been completed yet.

Military camp in the hospital building

The army camp is in the hospital, which still has five percent work to do

Locals say the army has arrived in Dasu, but has not yet formally taken over security. Many of the military personnel who arrived there are still confined to the dysfunctional DHQ hospital building in the area.

This project is being managed by WAPDA. A WAPDA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told that earlier work had been said to start on July 28, but that did not happen.

He said, "Some work is being done, small works have started. For security, electricity had to be restored. The water level had also risen. It had to be taken out. Labor and staff have not yet been called. He called where the electrician and plumber were needed.

"People are very frustrated when things go wrong," he said. Their dealings were based on the hope that they would find work. The market above is not the same as before.

Peace and the army to be announced over security in the mountains

The arrival of more than 800 military personnel in the area, interrogation at some checkpoints and stones placed at the top of Kamela Bazaar were informing the residents about the changes taking place in their area after the blast.

A WAPDA official said that the army had come to Dasu city at the request of Chinese security. About 800 military personnel have arrived at the District Health Quarter, which was under construction, and some troops are in Patan, 35 km away, after the incident.

"The area of ​​the reservoir is 64 km," he said. Earlier, there was not much checking by the police, now they ask where they are coming from and where they are going.

It should be noted that checkpoints have been set up in the area but the army has not been deployed yet and only police personnel are providing security.

The army convened a 60-member peace jirga at the Dasu Circuit House on the afternoon of August 3 to formally announce its arrival a few days after arriving in the area.

Pakistani authorities have claimed to have arrested two suspects from Lahore in Balochistan. Footage of some vehicles is also being shared that one of them allegedly collided with a Chinese company bus on July 14.

Local journalist Shams-ur-Rehman Shams told that while addressing the jirga, Brigadier Habibullah said that the Dasu bus blast was carried out by a terrorist, which was not possible without local support. Wait, everyone knows, the facts will come out soon.

Malik Mir Hazar Khan was among those present at the jirga.

"We have informed the army of our concerns because before the terrorists came to Swat, we told the army not to come here. We will protect ourselves.

He says the arrival of the army will bring about a change. "It used to take half an hour to reach where it used to take two hours," he said.

He says, "Check hosts have been set up. The police know the people. They don't stop. We have said that the army should be left behind. Put the police in front of you and speed up the police."

"In 1983, thousands of Chinese built the Silk Road. There was no explosion," he said. Swat was the border. Even then the army came here. We told the army that the Taliban would come after you. Don't come to our area. '

Mir Hazar Khan says that years before the Dasu blast, we were talking about the performance of the police. The performance of WAPDA has also been poor and Chinese companies had recruited people from every area. Vehicles were also hired by Afghans. We said it would be a problem.

Abdul Jabbar, a local man and social activist who attended the jirga, told the BBC by telephone: "We have been informed at the jirga that an army brigade has arrived in the area, which will be in all three parts of Kohistan, Besham, Pattan and Shatial in Upper Kohistan and Patan and Besham in Dasu Lower.

"If the army interferes in our affairs, it will be a problem," he said.

"We have been told by military officials that there will be no interference in your local affairs, traditions will be respected, the army will not be involved in the affairs of Dasu Dam and WAPDA, the army will only look after security," he said.

"We have suggested that you set up a check post but give a pass to the locals so that the registered locals do not have to go through the hassle of searching," he said.

Deputy Commissioner Upper Kohistan Arif Khan Yousafzai said, "Unfortunately, the army had to be called in after the blast."

"Wherever the district administration needs to call in the army, the Pakistan Army comes and works in its domain. Unfortunately, after the Dasu bus blast, the district administration had to call in the army for security arrangements.

Dasu's main bazaar is located on the Karakoram Highway, KKH. But just a few days after the attack, the stones placed on the main road in Dasu Bazaar without any notice disturbed the shopkeepers and drivers, but they were also surprised by the move. Because they have nowhere else to park.

Talking to people in the bazaar, they are not unhappy with the arrival of the army, they say the army has assured them that they will 'respect our traditions'. They also mention the package announced by the army.

According to social activist Abdul Jabbar, "You know, wherever the army goes, it also announces a development package." There will also be annual, quarterly plans for Kohistan.

There is no parking lot in the entire Upper Kohistan, a shopkeeper said. This is also affecting the business community in the market. It's been a week since the district administration made any arrangements for an alternative base. "People are sitting idle because the car is parked."

"For the base issue, Brigadier Habibullah has said that a comprehensive plan will be worked out with DC and three bases will be set up for Kandia, Jalkot and Seo," said a textile trader in the bazaar.

"I was told that when I came the morning after Eid, I saw stones on one side of the road," said a young man working at a mobile shop.

He says this was done so that "no vehicles are parked, there is a problem when there is a VIP movement."

"The police now give us four or five minutes to load and unload the goods," he said.

In Kohistan, people continue to protest for compensation and other rights for land connected to the hydropower project.

But while addressing the jirga on the same day, DPO Upper Kohistan Arif Javed reiterated his commitment to arrest those involved in the blast and also told the people that the closure of Karakoram Highway would not be acceptable after today. If anyone blocks the road under the guise of protest, the police will register a mandatory case.

Previous Post Next Post