Saturday Jul 17, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China agreed Saturday to complete the investigation into the Dasu bus accident as soon as possible. It claimed the lives of 12 people, including nine Chinese nationals.
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.
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 destabilise 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.
Terming Pakistan and China “iron brothers”, the interior minister assured his Chinese counterpart that all the Chinese workers in Pakistan will be provided foolproof security.
An investigating team of Chinese security officials will visit Dasu today as part of a joint probe into the incident to ascertain the facts.
They will be briefed by the Pakistani security officials.
On Thursday, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said that "terrorism cannot be ruled out" in the Dasu accident.
"Initial investigations into Dasu incident have now confirmed traces of explosives," the minister had said.
He had said that PM Imran Khan is "personally supervising all developments in this regard" and that the government is closely coordinating with the Chinese embassy.
"We are committed to fight the menace of terrorism together," he had said.
On Wednesday, a bus carrying Chinese workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa plunged into a ravine "after a mechanical failure resulting in leakage of gas that caused a blast", a statement from the Foreign Office had said.
According to the statement, Chinese workers and accompanying Pakistani staff "were proceeding to their work place for an ongoing project".