15.9 C
Ontario
Sunday, October 17, 2021

China to join Pakistan blast probe, backs away from calling it bomb attack


China said on Thursday it will send a team to Pakistan to help investigate a blast on a bus that killed 13 people, including nine Chinese workers, after it backed away from an earlier assertion that the explosion was a bomb attack.

Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, told a regular briefing that China would cooperate closely with Pakistan in the investigation.

Wednesday’s blast sent the bus crashing into a ravine in Khyber-Paktunkhwa province in Northwest Pakistan, where Chinese engineers have for several years been working on hydroelectric projects as part of Beijing’s massive Belt and Road Initiative.

China is a close ally and major investor in neighbouring Pakistan, and various anti-Pakistani government militants have in the past attacked Chinese projects.

Also read: Jaishankar to attend SCO Foreign Ministers’ meet in Tajikistan

On Wednesday, Zhao had called the blast a “bomb attack” but Pakistan said a mechanical failure caused a gas leak that led to the explosion.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi met Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and urged Pakistan to investigate the blast but he stopped short of calling it an attack, according to a post on Thursday on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website.

But Wang told Qureshi that if it was indeed a “terrorist attack”, Pakistan should immediately arrest the culprits and punish them severely.

‘Lessons should be learned’

Wang, who is China’s State Councillor and foreign minister, said “lessons should be learned” and both sides should strengthen security measures for China-Pakistan cooperation projects to ensure their safe and smooth operation.

The Chinese workers killed on the bus were employed at the Dasu hydroelectric project, part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $65 billion investment plan aiming to link Western China to the Southern Pakistani port of Gwadar.

Wang and Qureshi spoke in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, on the sidelines of a foreign ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.



Source link

Latest news

Missing Alberta county councillor found dead, wife charged with murder

The body of a missing politician in southern Alberta has been found and his wife is now accused in his death. Cypress County councillor...

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2021: Suresh Raina terms THIS bowler ‘main guy in the attack’ | Cricket News

Former India batsman and Chennai Super Kings’ star Suresh Raina believes mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy will be the "main guy in the attack"...

We will hunt down terrorists and their sympathisers: JK LG Manoj Sinha on civilian killings

Amid a spate of civilian killings, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday vowed to avenge every drop of their blood...

haiti: 17 American missionaries kidnapped in Haiti, officials say

As many as 17 Christian missionaries from the United States and their family members, including children, were kidnapped on Saturday by a gang...
Related news

Missing Alberta county councillor found dead, wife charged with murder

The body of a missing politician in southern Alberta has been found and his wife is now accused in his death. Cypress County councillor...

India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2021: Suresh Raina terms THIS bowler ‘main guy in the attack’ | Cricket News

Former India batsman and Chennai Super Kings’ star Suresh Raina believes mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy will be the "main guy in the attack"...

We will hunt down terrorists and their sympathisers: JK LG Manoj Sinha on civilian killings

Amid a spate of civilian killings, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Sunday vowed to avenge every drop of their blood...

haiti: 17 American missionaries kidnapped in Haiti, officials say

As many as 17 Christian missionaries from the United States and their family members, including children, were kidnapped on Saturday by a gang...