Islamabad, Jul 19 (PTI) Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday met the Chinese envoy here and assured full support and cooperation in the security of Chinese nationals working in Pakistan.
During his meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong, Bajwa said it is necessary to 'stay strong to thwart designs of all inimical forces challenging our resolve particularly those threatening China-Pakistan strategic cooperation”, the army said in a statement .
It was the first meeting between the two leaders since last week's bus blast in which 13 people, including nine Chinese workers, were killed.
Condoling the death of the Chinese nationals in the bus blast, Bajwa said the Pakistan Army greatly values its brotherly relations with 'our time-tested friend' and assured full support, cooperation and security of Chinese citizens working in Pakistan.
Bajwa and Nong agreed on the need for continuous engagement and coordination for peace and stability in the region, the statement said.
The bus blast took place on Wednesday in Dasu area of Upper Kohistan district of the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province where Chinese engineers and construction workers are helping Pakistan build a dam, which is part of the USD 60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
At least 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals and two Frontier Corps soldiers, died and 39 others injured when the bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the site of the under construction Dassu Dam exploded. The bus fell into a deep ravine after the explosion.
Relations between China and Pakistan came under stress following the incident, which China termed as a bomb attack, while Pakistan said it was caused by a gas leak.
So far, it is not clear if the blast was caused by a technical failure or the vehicle was hit by an explosion. PTI SH SCY SCY