Dasu incident investigation in ‘final’ stages: Interior Minister

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid addressing a press conference in Islamabad.

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid today (Saturday) has announced that the investigation into Dasu bus incident, in which 13 people – 9 Chinese nationals and four Pakistanis – were killed, was in final stage.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad today (Saturday), the interior minister informed that highest security institutions of the country are investigating the incident. “A 15-member team of Chinese investigators had arrived yesterday and visited the incident site with security agency officials,” he added.  

Rashid said that the Chinese government had also been taken on board and was being informed about updates as they were received. “We completely reassure the Chinese government that these culprits, hidden hands and enemies of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) and China-Pakistan friendship will never be forgiven at any cost,” he claimed.

He further said that the two countries shared an “all-weather friendship” that could not be affected by such events. “They were successful in their scheme in Dasu but this success is temporary because our relations with China are higher than the Himalayas,” he pointed out.

Elaborating on other measures in the wake of the incident, he said the prime minister had instructed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to visit China and the Ministry of Interior had directed security agencies to increase the protection of Chinese workers in Pakistan.

Rashid claimed that the Dasu incident was planned days before a meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee of CPEC — originally scheduled for Friday (July 16). The meeting was subsequently postponed in the incident’s aftermath.

At least 13 people – nine Chinese nationals and four Pakistanis – were killed and more than two dozen others wounded Wednesday morning when a shuttle bus they were travelling in plunged into a deep ravine after an explosion on board.

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