Pakistan will pay compensation for 36 Chinese nationals who were killed or injured in a terrorist attack last year thereby removing a major irritant in bilateral relations with Beijing.
The government has worked out four different compensation amounts ranging from $4.6 million to $20.3 million, the Express Tribune reported.
A total of 10 Chinese nationals lost their lives and another 26 were hurt in a suicide attack on a bus that was carrying them to the worksite of the Dasu Hydropower Project in July last year. Four Pakistani nationals had also died in the attack. A Chinese delegation had joined the investigation last year into the Dasu bus explosion.
But the Dasu Hydropower Project is funded by the World Bank and does not fall in the scope of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as mentioned in the Express Tribune.
After the Pakistan government tried to downplay the terrorist attack as an accident caused by gas leakage, China immediately retaliated and cancelled a scheduled meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee of the CPEC.
Further, the Chinese contractor had also stopped the work on the project and demanded a compensation of $37 million. The compensation that the contractor had claimed was over 500% more than what a Chinese national's heirs would have received if killed in a similar attack in their own country, the Express Tribune said
The 4,320MW Dasu Hydropower Project is being constructed by China Gezhouba with funding from the World Bank.
It is the second time that Pakistan has decided to compensate Chinese nationals, who had died in a terrorist attack.
In 2004, one Chinese national lost his life and another was injured in a terrorist attack while working on the Gomal Zam Dam Project. Pakistan had then paid $100,000 to the family of the deceased and $50,000 to the injured worker, the Express Tribune said.