China to join Pakistan blast inquiry that killed nine Chinese nationals

16:19, 15 July 2021
China to join Pakistan blast inquiry that killed nine Chinese nationals Photo: Jason Lee/REUTERS

China announced that it will be sending a special task force to Pakistan to assist in the investigation of the blast that killed 13 people including 9 Chinese nationals.

Previously China stated that the blast was a planned bomb attack but now it backed from its earlier assertion and insists that a probe must be conducted first.

The blast itself occurred on Wednesday crashing a bus into a ravine in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in northwestern Pakistan. 

A lot of Chinese engineers live specifically in this region where hydroelectric projects are built as a part of the Belt and Road initiative. 

Incidents like these highly alert China as it has a lot of personnel located in Pakistan. Furthermore, China is one of Pakistan’s major investors and allies. Anti-Pakistani militants have already attacked Chinese projects in the past.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi met with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and decided on cooperating in the investigation.

The incident was not called a terrorist attack this time as the Pakistani side noted that the explosion may have been a result of a mechanical failure that led to a gas leak and a further explosion.

Wang stated that if the inquiry proves that the blast was a terrorist attack, Pakistan should immediately arrest the guilty and severely punish them.

Both countries agreed that lessons should be learned and that special security measures must be taken to ensure the safety of further projects between China and Pakistan.

The officials met at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Dushanbe the capital of Tajikistan.