Islamabad, Pakistan: 36 Chinese national dies and 26 got injured in Pakistan’s terror attack in July, Pakistan had to give compensation in millions.
To analysts, this appears to be a case of a Chinese firm, whether Government or private, exercising arm-twisting, with the Chinese authorities leaning on Islamabad, according to Hongkong Post.
Pakistan is to pay China in millions in billions when converted to its Rupee — as compensation to the 36 Chinese nationals killed and 26 injured in a terrorist attack on July 14 last year, hoping to remove “a major irritant in bilateral relations.”
Earlier, Pakistan Cabinet chose from one of the four different packages worked out by the government. They range from USD 4.6 million (Rs 810 million) to USD 20.3 million (Rs 3.6 billion).
On the other hand, the compensation for the hydro-power project at Dasu in Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province doesn’t fall under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) technically.
Meanwhile, the 4,320 MW Dasu Hydropower Project is being constructed by China Gezhouba with funding from the World Bank.
Now, the Chinese power firm is demanding from Pakistan six times the compensation it would have paid to its employees had the incident taken place within China, according to Hongkong Post.
Earlier, Pakistan is compelled to follow its own 2004 precedence on compensation payment, before it entered into CPEC pact. It must keep in mind that according to Gomal Zam Dam amount of 2004 indexed upwards using nominal GDP increase, the compensation will be USD 20.3 million.
The terms for the current and future projects, where they exist, are weighed heavily in the Chinese’ favour and it’s a bitter pill for Pakistan that is getting increasingly sucked into the Chinese vortex, with or without the CPEC that is expected to be the biggest economic boost since Pakistan’s inception, as analyzed by Hongkong Post.
The July 2021 incident that impacted bilateral ties was a suicide attack on a bus that was carrying workers to the worksite of the Dasu Hydropower Project. Pakistan initially sought to play it down as an accident. But the Chinese government intervened, issued a terse statement demanding that the terror aspect be also probed, and secured a joint probe that established it as a terror attack.
China had immediately retaliated and cancelled a scheduled meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee of the CPEC. The Chinese contractor had also stopped the work on the project and demanded a compensation of USD 37 million.