Pakistani authorities announced on Saturday April 6 that they had sanctioned senior police officers after a suicide attack that killed five Chinese engineers at the end of March, a measure intended to make “an example” against “negligence”, the latest in dates from a series aimed at reassuring its big neighbor.

A commission of inquiry appointed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – who had promised Chinese employees to “move heaven and earth” to guarantee their safety – took “disciplinary measures”, said during a press conference in Lahore Information Minister Attaullah Tarar.

Mr. Sharif ordered “immediate action” against “these individuals who have shown negligence and who will serve as an example,” he added, without giving the nature of these sanctions, but specifying the ranks of at least five of those responsible.

On March 26, the death in a suicide attack of five Chinese engineers and their Pakistani driver interrupted work on the Dasu dam site in the northwest of the country, as well as work on the Diamer dam. Bhasha, about a hundred kilometers away.

Billions of dollars invested by China in Pakistan

The two Chinese groups operating there, which employ several hundred people each, had called for a strengthening of security measures, which Islamabad had said it had put in place. Work at Diamer-Bhasha has therefore resumed, but not at Dasu immediately.

Pakistani police have arrested more than a dozen suspects, including Afghans, for this attack. Islamabad continues to assert that armed groups, such as the Pakistani Taliban of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) party, carry out planned attacks from Afghan soil, crossing a very porous border.

The Afghan government denies harboring foreign armed groups using its soil to attack its neighbors.

In March, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a Baloch separatist movement, carried out an attack against premises at the strategic port of Gwadar, the keystone of a vast Chinese project, in the same province.

Beijing has invested billions of dollars in recent years in Pakistan, its closest ally in the region. But Islamabad struggles to guarantee the security of Chinese personnel and interests on its soil, where they are often targeted.