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Pakistan and China jointly investigating Dasu bus attack

People wheel a gurney to an ambulance near a hospital in Dasu after a bus carrying Chinese citizens on board fell into a gorge in Upper Kohistan after an explosion, Pakistan, July 14, 2021.
Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: Pakistani and Chinese security experts are jointly investigating the terrorist attack on the Dasu bus to trace hidden hands behind the tragic incident.

A group of 15 Chinese investigators have arrived in Pakistan to take part in an ongoing investigation that is in its final stages, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said Saturday. He shared the details at a press conference after an in-depth telephone conversation with Chinese Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi.

Pakistan has strengthened the security of Chinese citizens in the aftermath of the attack. At least 13 people, including nine Chinese citizens and four Pakistanis – two security personnel and two nationals – were killed and 28 were injured when a bus transporting them to the construction site of the Dasu hydroelectric power plant fell into a gorge in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province … after the explosion in the early morning of July 14.

The interior minister said the two countries have an all-weather friendship that cannot be affected by such incidents. “We assure the Chinese government that these culprits, hidden hands and opponents of the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) and friendship between China and Pakistan will never be forgiven at any cost,” the Pakistani Interior Minister promised.

Pakistani government officials expressed their sincere condolences for the loss of precious lives and guaranteed the best medical care for the Chinese citizens affected by the incident.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is personally overseeing the development of the study, asked Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi to visit Beijing. In a telephone conversation with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Pakistani Prime Minister said that the country will spare no effort to fully investigate the Dasu bus tragedy. Khan said the safety of Chinese citizens, workers and projects in Pakistan is his government’s top priority.

“Pakistan and China are bound by an iron friendship that has withstood the vicissitudes of time,” and “no hostile force will be allowed to destroy the brotherly relationship between Pakistan and China,” Prime Minister Khan told his Chinese counterpart.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong and Wu Wei, head of China’s interagency joint working group, also visited injured Chinese citizens at the Joint Military Hospital (CMH) in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan initially blamed the explosion on a mechanical malfunction, but later Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said traces of explosives had been found and that “a terrorist attack cannot be ruled out.”

Rashid argued that the Dasu incident was scheduled several days before the meeting of the Joint Coordinating Committee of the CPEC, which was reportedly postponed.

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