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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has further improved security of Chinese nationals and assured the Chinese government that the perpetrators of Dasu bus tragedy will be exposed and brought to justice.

Addressing a press conference, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that following the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, security of Chinese nationals has been further tightened.

“Out of 13 killed in Dasu bus incident, nine Chinese, two Frontier Constabulary (FC) personnel, and two Pakistani civilians were killed,” he said, adding that following the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, all security institutions have been directed to further strengthen security of the Chinese nationals and projects in the country.

The bus was carrying Chinese and Pakistani workers to an under-construction tunnel site of the Dasu Hydropower Project in the remote Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

He said that the prime minister had contacted the Chinese prime minister from Uzbekistan regarding the incident, and assured him of providing foolproof security to Chinese nationals.

The interior minister said that we completely reassure the Chinese government that these culprits, hidden hands, and enemies of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and China-Pakistan friendship will be brought to justice at any cost.

Rashid said that 15member Chinese team that arrived on July 16 have visited the incident site.

“Chinese government and the Chinese Ministry of Interior is completely on board regarding the investigation of Dasu bus tragedy and we are updating them regularly,” he said.

The minister said that the investigation of the event is at its final stages, and the highest institutions of Pakistan are investigating it.

To a question, he said that that the Dasu incident was planned days before a meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of CPEC scheduled to be held on July 16 to affect JCC.

He also said that he held telephonic conversation with Chinese minister for public security Zhao Kezhi and briefed him about the investigation of Dasu bus tragedy, and directives of the prime minister regarding the matter.

The Chinese minister asked for increasing security of Chinese nationals in Pakistan, and we assured him of foolproof security to the Chinese nationals, he said.

Rashid said that he has also told the Chinese minister that the prime minister has instructed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to travel to China tomorrow.

Both the Chinese minister and Sheikh Rashid agreed on completing the investigation at the earliest.

They reiterated that no hostile power could damage ties between Pakistan and China that are “time-tested friends and iron brothers,” according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior after the telephonic conversation of the Chinese minister and Rashid.

Rashid assured that the government would extend every possible cooperation to Chinese team visiting Pakistan to investigate the blast.

He further assured the minister of provision of foolproof security to Chinese nationals working on projects in Pakistan.

During the telephonic conversation, the Chinese minister expressed regret over the loss of precious lives in the unfortunate accident.

He said that Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan and have no favourites in Afghanistan.

“Peace in Pakistan is linked with peace in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that Pakistan is making efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan.

The minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will participate in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) election campaign, and he will accompany him during his visit. The PTI will form government in Kashmir, he said.

The minister said that five officials have been arrested for issuing fake passports.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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