War of words between Pakistan, China governments

New Delhi: The incident of a blast on a bus in north Pakistan which killed 13 people including two Pakistani soldiers and nine Chinese nationals on July 14 has led to a war of words between the Pakistani and the Chinese governments.

Intelligence sources said Pakistan officials have been trying to cover up this incident as an accident, saying that this was not a terror attack but a result of the bus falling into a ravine due to a technical fault.

Pakistani officials have tried to produce pictures indicating flaws in the mechanical system of the bus which led to the bus going down the ravine. Even a technical report was produced by them to portray the incident as a result of a mechanical flaw.

However, Chinese officials contested this theory from the beginning with the Chinese Embassy insisting that the incident was a suicide attack. According to them, the attacker fired several shots on the bus and used hand grenades before detonating himself. Pakistan has been trying to give the impression that the incident had nothing to do with the overall security situation in the Khyber-Pakhtunwa area.

The Chinese have privately expressed fear of more attacks on CPEC projects in the future. They also fear kidnapping of workers of Chinese-owned cellular operator Zong in Pakistan. Zong officials have received threats from time to time.

China sends investigators to study blast

Beijing: China said it has sent investigators to Pakistan to probe an explosion on a bus was carrying around 40 Chinese engineers, surveyors, and mechanical staff to a hydropower dam construction site in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

“China and Pakistan will work together to find out the truth,” Chinese public security minister Zhao Kezhi said in a statement after a phone call with his Pakistani counterpart.

Beijing has “sent technical experts in criminal investigation to Pakistan to assist in the investigation”, he added.

He called on Islamabad to strengthen security for Chinese nationals in the country.

China urged Pakistan to “severely punish” those responsible for the bus explosion and called on authorities to “earnestly protect” Chinese nationals and projects.

Beijing has poured billions of dollars into Pakistan in recent years to boost the nation’s infrastructure.

Image courtesy of IANS

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