China sends 15 officials for
investigation of Dasu bus blast

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Saturday that 15 Chinese officials have been included in the ongoing investigation on the Dasu bus tragedy in which thirteen people, including nine Chinese nationals, were kileld.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Rashid said that a 15-member team of Chinese investigators had arrived yesterday and visited the incident site with security agency officials.

ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday.

“The investigation of the event is at its final stages and the highest institutions of Pakistan are investigating it. Fifteen individuals from China have been included [in the investigation] as well,” the interior minister said.

Rashid said that the Chinese government had also been taken on board and was being informed about updates as they were received.

“We completely reassure the Chinese government that these culprits, hidden hands and enemies of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) and China-Pakistan friendship will never be forgiven at any cost.”

Thirteen people – including nine Chinese nationals, two personnel of the Frontier Constabulary and two locals – were killed and 28 others sustained injuries when a coach carrying them to an under-construction tunnel site of the 4,300-megawatt Dasu hydropower project fell into a ravine in the Upper Kohistan area after an explosion on Wednesday.

The agreement came during a telephonic discussion between China’s Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi and Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed which continued for over half an hour. They discussed the tragic incident in the Upper Kohistan region.

This is the second high-level contact in two days after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who had assured him that all out efforts will be made to investigate the incident.

Expressing sorrow over the loss of precious Pakistani lives, Zhao said he has called Rasheed on the direction of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

One injured is being taken to hospital.

The two officials exchanged views on the progress made into the investigation so far and agreed to complete it as soon as possible.

“No hostile force can destabilize fraternal relations between the two countries.”

Rasheed informed his Chinese counterpart that the investigations are carried out at the highest level on the direction of PM Khan and will be completed soon.

He said that Pakistan is providing all assistance to the Chinese team currently in Pakistan to investigate the matter.

Imran Khan’s assurance

Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday assured Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that his government would spare no effort to fully investigate the bus incident in which 9 Chinese nationals lost their lives. 

In a telephonic conversation, the prime minister said the security of Chinese nationals, workers, projects, and institutions in Pakistan, is the “highest priority of the government.” 

During the call, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed heartfelt condolences over the loss of precious lives of Chinese nationals caused by the tragic incident in Dasu. The prime minister said the people of Pakistan shared grief and pain of the bereaved families. He underlined that the government of Pakistan was providing the best possible medical care to the injured Chinese nationals.

He reiterated that Pakistan and China had an iron-clad friendship which had withstood the vicissitudes of time. No hostile forces would be allowed to damage brotherly relations between Pakistan and China, he added.