Islamabad, Jul 18 (PTI) Pakistan on Sunday said the Chinese construction company working on Dasu Hydropower project -- the location which was hit by a bus blast in which 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, were killed -- has revoked its earlier notice of termination of Pakistani employees in the project.
Nine Chinese nationals and two Frontier Corps soldiers were among those killed when the bus carrying Chinese engineers and workers to the site of the under-construction Dasu Dam exploded on Wednesday in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The bus fell into a deep ravine after the explosion in the Upper Kohistan district.
Following the incident, China Gezhouba Group Company (CGGC), which was working on the project as part of the USD 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), stopped its work and terminated the employment of all Pakistanis, except for a few basic staff working for project site maintenance and operation.
Responding to media queries, Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the CGGC 'through its latest notification has declared its earlier notice, about contract termination of employment of Pakistani personnel working on Dasu Hydropower Project, null and void”.
'Matters regarding security and execution of the project are being looked into, and the relevant authorities from Pakistan and China are in close contact on the same and the construction of the project will be resumed soon,' he said.
So far, it is not clear if the blast was caused by a technical failure or the vehicle was hit by an explosion. While China termed the mishap as a bomb attack, Pakistan stated that the blast was caused by a gas leak.
In a separate press conference, interior minister Sheikh Rashid said his ministry is coordinating with the 15 Chinese officials, who were in Pakistan to take part in the probe into the blast.
'They (the Chinese) just said one thing that our stance and yours should be the same because Pakistan and China's friendship is inexhaustible and taller than the Himalayas,' the minister said.
The Chinese delegation consisted of the representatives from the Chinese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce, criminal investigation and technical experts. PTI SH SCY SCY