Saturday Jul 17, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The investigation into the Dasu incident is in its final stages, says Federal Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed. The accident claimed the lives of 12 people, including nine Chinese nationals.
Rasheed said that he has directed security agencies to further improve the security of Chinese nationals.
Briefing the media in Islamabad, Rasheed said that 15 Chinese officials have arrived in Pakistan for the investigation and the Chinese interior minister has also spoken to him about the Dasu accident.
Dasu incident: Pakistan, China agree to complete investigation soon
Pakistan and China agreed on Saturday to complete the investigation into the Dasu bus accident as soon as possible.
The agreement came during a telephonic discussion between China's Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi and Rasheed. The phone call continued for over half an hour.
This was 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.The Chinese Minister of Public Security spoke by telephone and condemned 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.
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.
During his media briefing Saturday afternoon, Rasheed said the accident took place on the Karakoram Highway. A 15-member Chinese investigation team visited the accident site yesterday, he informed, adding that the injured are being treated at the Pakistan Army Hospital.
"It is our duty to protect the lives and property of the Chinese people here. The security of their people will be ensured," Rasheed said, sharing that the Chinese Ministry of Interior has been taken on board.
He said that the premier has asked him and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to go to China.
The interior minister emphasised that Pak-China friendship is eternal and the accident does not impact this friendship. The enemies of CPEC and Pakistan and China's friendship will not be forgiven, he said.
The interior ministry, Rasheed said, is everywhere.
India doesn't let go of any opportunity to intervene in Pakistan, while Pakistan is a peace advocate, he said, adding that Pakistan's peace is related to peace in Afghanistan and that is why the government is advocating for peace in Afghanistan.
He reiterated that Pakistan will allow its territory to be used against Afghanistan.
Chinese team visits Dasu today
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".