The accident that killed 12 people including nine Chinese nationals, has been rendered a “terrorist attack” by China. China will also send investigators to Pakistan to probe into this bus explosion.
On Wednesday, around 40 Chinese engineers, surveyors, and mechanical staff were carried in the bus to a hydropower dam construction site in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Around 28 people were injured and three people killed in the explosion, all three being Pakistanis.
Islamabad previously blamed the blast on a mechanical failure that led to a gas leak, but China has now called it a bombing.
Chinese public security minister Zhao Kezhi said in a statement after a phone call with his Pakistani counterpart that “China and Pakistan will work together to find out the truth”. He also said that Beijing has “sent technical experts in criminal investigation to Pakistan to assist in the investigation”. Kezhi further called on Islamabad to strengthen security for Chinese nationals in the country.
China has piled up pressure on Pakistan to “severely punish” those responsible for the bus explosion and called on authorities to “earnestly protect” Chinese nationals and projects. Islamabad is Beijing’s closest regional ally, but the security of Chinese workers in Pakistan has long been a cause of concern. Large numbers of them are based in the country to supervise and build construction projects.
Beijing has poured billions of dollars into Pakistan in recent years to boost the nation’s infrastructure.