'Stay strong to thwart designs of inimical forces'

Gen Qamar assures Ambassador Nong of 'full support, cooperation and security' for Chinese citizens

News Desk July 19, 2021

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday urged the Chinese side to "stay strong in thwarting designs of all inimical forces challenging the resolve particularly those threatening the China-Pakistan strategic cooperation", according to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The army chief met Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi just days after a shuttle bus carrying Chinese engineers plunged into a deep ravine after an explosion on board. At least 13 people including nine Chinese nationals were killed in the tragic incident.
The bus was ferrying Chinese and Pakistani workers to an under-construction tunnel site of the Dasu hydropower project in the remote Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

The military's media wing said that the Chinese ambassador called on General Qamar.

"In wake of the recent Dasu bus incident involving Chinese citizens, the COAS extended heartfelt sympathies and deepest condolences to the government and the people of the Republic of China, particularly the bereaved families," the statement read.

Gen Qamar, according to the ISPR, said that Pakistan Army greatly values its brotherly relations with its time-tested friend and also assured of full support, cooperation and security for Chinese citizens working in Pakistan.

"While we work for peace, we need to stay strong to thwart designs of all inimical forces challenging our resolve particularly those threatening China-Pakistan strategic cooperation," the COAS told the Chinese ambassador.

The ISPR said that both agreed on the need for continuous engagement and coordination for peace and stability in the region.
Earlier, PM Imran also spoke with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and assured him that the government of Pakistani would spare no effort in fully investigating the incident.

"He [prime minister] assured that no effort would be spared to fully investigate the incident," a statement from the PM Office detailing the telephone call between the two premiers said.


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