Pakistan has offered to compensate the 36 Chinese nationals impacted by the suicide bombing near Dasu Hydropower Project in July, but it remains unclear if similar financial assistance will be provided to the families of the four Pakistani nationals who were killed in the attack.
The bombing claimed the lives of 10 Chinese nationals, many of them engineers working on the hydropower project, and injured another 26, as they rode a bus on their way to work in Kohistan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The families of both the deceased and injured Chinese victims are expected to receive financial assistance.
Four Pakistani nationals were also killed in the attack, although their families are reportedly not included in the multi-million dollar disbursement.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), headed by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, will decide on how much to grant the Chinese victims, with figures starting at $4.6 million (Rs810 million) and spanning up to $20.3 million (Rs3.6 billion), according to The Express Tribune.
An earlier decision by the ECC had determined that Pakistan is under no legal or contractual obligation to provide compensation to the foreign victims, especially as the project falls under the remit of the World Bank, not the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
However, Pakistan’s government reportedly hopes that the gesture will jump start the various stalled Chinese works in Pakistan.
Following the attack, the Chinese contractors working on the 4,320MW Dasu Hydropower Project put down their tools and demanded US$37 million in compensation, which is reportedly 500 per cent more than the Chinese government would provide if the attack had occurred in China.
In the past three years, no new CPEC projects have been approved. Last year’s attack temporarily frosted the two countries’ relationship, after Pakistan erroneously claimed that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.