A bus carrying 41 people was attacked near a labour camp in Kohistan on Wednesday in which 13 people were killed including nine Chinese nationals and FC police personnel. It was reported that 31 others received injuries. The attack occurred on a bus carrying Chinese workers on the Dasu Hydro Power project in Barseen, Kohistan. According to Kohistan Deputy Commissioner Arif Khan Yousafzai the cause of the explosion is yet to be determined. Initial reports from authorities were mixed; however, on the floor of the National Assembly, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan called it a “cowardly attack” that would “not divert attention from the special initiatives between Pakistan and its neighbours.” Awan, who condemned the attack, said he would ask Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed to offer a briefing on the country’s security position and to keep this house in the loop about the occurrence. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The bus plunged into a deep ravine after the blast and caused heavy losses. One Chinese engineer and one soldier are missing. The rescue operation is launched and the entire government machinery has been mobilised to rescue the injured by air ambulance,” Special Assistant to KP chief Minister Kamran Khan Bangash said that a high level delegation has left for Upper Kohistan, adding that officials will shortly inform the people and the media of the ground realities. “The media is advised to avoid speculating on the matter,” he said. Bangash said that a large number of security officials were deployed to protect Chinese nationals. Those who are in critical condition are being shifted via helicopter, he said. A large number of Rescue 1122 ambulances and officials have reached the spot, he added. The unfortunate passengers of the bus were mostly Chinese engineers who are working on the Dasu Hydro Power project which is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Bodies and the injured have been shifted to the Rural Health Centre Dasu. Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Arif said an investigation is being conducted to ascertain the intensity of the blast and know more about it. Meanwhile, China asked Pakistan to thoroughly investigate the incident. Condemning the attack, Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian urged Pakistan to “severely punish” the perpetrators“ and “earnestly protect the safety of Chinese nationals, organisations and projects” in the country. In April, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide blast at a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese ambassador, who was unhurt, in southwest Balochistan. The group has recently claimed a string of attacks not only in Pakistan’s restive tribal areas along the Afghanistan border but also in the country’s cities, including the capital Islamabad. Beijing has poured billions of dollars into Pakistan in recent years to boost the country’s infrastructure. But Chinese-funded projects have sparked resentment, particularly among separatist groups, who say locals see little benefit, with most jobs going to outsiders. In 2019, gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Balochistan overlooking a flagship Chinese-backed project — the deep-water seaport in Gwadar that gives China strategic access to the Arabian Sea — killing at least eight people. And last June, Baloch insurgents targeted the Pakistan Stock Exchange in the commercial capital of Karachi, which is partly owned by Chinese companies.