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Protesters in Pakistan block highway over suspension of cops


ISLAMABAD: People in Pakistan’s northwestern upper and lower Kohistan districts blocked the Karakoram highway on Friday to protest the suspension of senior police officers over last month’s

suicide attack

, in which five Chinese nationals lost their lives.

Chinese engineers

, working on construction of a hydroelectric dam on the river Indus in Dasu region of Kohistan, and their Pakistani driver, were killed when an explosive-laden vehicle hit their bus in Bisham city of Shangla district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

In a swift response, Islamabad suspended the police chiefs of Hazara division, Upper Kohistan and Lower Kohistan districts, security director of Dasu hydropower project and the commandant of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Special Security Unit, for negligence and

security lapses

The suspensions prompted the residents of upper and lower Kohistan to stage protests and block the Karakoram highway that links Pakistan with China for two hours. The


said the attack took place in Shangla district of Malakand division, but senior officials of Hazara division were suspended by the federal govt.

Investigations had revealed that the construction company, which was required to provide bullet and bomb proof vehicles for the Chinese employees, and was duly paid for it, failed to meet its contractual obligations. The bus transporting the Chinese engineers was not even bullet-proof, let alone bomb-proof, which is a requirement under the security SOPs.

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