Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi that the initial investigation into the bus tragedy near Dasu hydropower project in the Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was not a consequence of a terrorist attack, according to a statement on China’s foreign ministry website reports Dawn.
Nine Chinese nationals and three Pakistanis lost their lives on Wednesday in a blast that took place on the bus that was taking them to their workplace. They were going there for an ongoing project, as per a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
“The Chinese side is shocked by the serious Chinese casualties in Pakistan, hoping that the Pakistani side could quickly find out its cause, conduct rescue and treatment work at all costs, deal with the aftermath in time, and prevent similar incidents from happening again,” read the statement.
“If it is a terrorist attack, the criminals must be immediately arrested and severely punished,” said the Chinese ministry.
Qureshi, on behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, expressed sincere condolences to the Chinese side over the heavy Chinese casualties. He said that the preliminary investigation shows that the incident was “an accident and no background of terrorist attacks has been found.”
However, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter and said, “Initial investigations into Dassu incident have now confirmed traces of explosives, terrorism cannot be ruled out,” contradicting the statement by his party’s Foreign Minister.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan is personally supervising all developments, in this regard Govt is in close coordination with the Chinese embassy we are committed to fighting the menace of terrorism together,” read the tweet.