As many as 12 people including 9 Chinese were killed because of an explosion in Pakistan. After the mishap, China spokesperson told Pakistan for ‘severe punishment’. The explosion occurred in a bus in Northwest Pakistan and Islamabad has cited the cause of explosion a ‘gas leak’ in the bus. The news comes days after reports of China and Pakistan eying to occupy Afghanistan amid the new power vacuum created due to the US troops being retracted back.
Road accidents and bomb explosions are both common in the Pakistani territory. But in a recent mishap, 12 people have lost their lives in an incident where both the reasons were cited in a different way by both the sides.
A bus met with an accident in which 9 Chinese citizens and 3 others were killed. The bus was carrying construction workers. The foreign ministry said that the bus was carrying the workers in Pakistan’s northwest region. The bus after the mishap fell into a ravine. As per the reports, the incident took place on Wednesday morning when the bus was carrying workers to the Dasu Hydropower project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The province is located about 190 km north of Islamabad.
So far, the cause of the explosion is not clear but both Pakistan and China are standing on different grounds. While the Pakistani authorities claimed that the mishap happened due to a “mechanical failure” in the bus, the Chinese foreign ministry labelled the mishap as an “attack”. A report from Al Jazeera reported that the local administration reported that cause of explosion is under investigation.
China & Pakistan Sing Different Tunes
As mentioned above, both the Chinese side and Pakistani side are citing different reasons for the mishap. In the statement given by the Pakistani foreign ministry, Pakistan cited the reason as ‘mechanical failure’.
“Bus plunged into ravine after mechanical failure”: Pakistan Foreign Ministry
The statement said-
“This morning a bus carrying Chinese workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, plunged into a ravine after a mechanical failure resulting in leakage of gas that caused a blast.”
Meanwhile, China is labelling the incident as an attack and has demanded an investigation by the Pakistani authorities and asked the country to punish those responsible.
“Our workers were attacked”: Chinese Foreign Ministry
The statement coming from Chinese foreign ministry stated-
“Recently, our workers at a business on a certain project in Pakistan were attacked and have suffered deaths and injuries.”
The statement was reported by Associated Press. The statement further said that the Chinese authorities have reached out to Chinese persons in Pakistan and has directed them to avoid non-essential venturing and to take care of their safety.
“Shocked” by Attack: Chinese Ministry spokesperson
Further, Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson claimed that he was “shocked by” the attack and that he “condemns the bomb attack in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,” as reported by Associated Press.
Zhao in the daily briefing to the country also added-
“We mourn over the Chinese and Pakistani personnel killed in the attack and express sympathies to bereaved families and the wounded.”
Further the spokesperson claimed that China has “demanded” Pakistan to investigate the incident and “strictly puish the assailants”. The spokesperson also said that the country reached out to Pakistan and urged them to “earnestly protect” Chinese institutes, projects and the personnel in Pakistan.