China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday asked Pakistan to investigate an explosion on a bus in which nine Chinese workers died in its mountainous Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
China State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday asked Pakistan to investigate an explosion on a bus in which nine Chinese workers died in its mountainous Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He however didn’t call the incident a “terrorist attack”.
At least 13, including nine Chinese nationals and two Pakistani security officials, died Wednesday when an explosion pushed the bus into a ravine. Details of the incident were not clear initially, and local authorities had termed the incident an “accident” initially.
Wang told Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi that if it was indeed a terrorist attack, Pakistan should immediately arrest the culprits and punish them severely, according to the Chinese ministry's summary of a meeting they had in Dushanbe on Wednesday.
He added "lessons should be learned" and measures should be taken to enhance security for China-Pakistan cooperation projects for smooth operation.
Later, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson called the blast “a bomb attack”, reported Reuters. Pakistan, however, maintained a mechanical failure caused a gas leak, leading to the explosion.
China’s investment in Pakistan is worth over 70 billion dollars that includes some big infrastructure projects. The concern is growing as these projects have now increasingly been targeted by anti- Pakistan militants, mostly by Pakistan Taliban (TTP) and Baloch groups.
Earlier, the TTP has staged an attack on Quetta’s five-star Serena Hotel. The Chinese envoy to Pakistan, who was scheduled to attend a meeting there, narrowly escaped as he wasn’t present at the hotel when the attack took place.