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ISLAMABAD:
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday assured his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang that 'no effort' will be spared to 'fully investigate' the Kohistan bus incident that claimed the lives of nine Chinese nationals.

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

During the call, Imran assured Li that the security of Chinese nationals, workers, projects, and institutions in Pakistan was the "highest priority of the government".

The prime minister also expressed heartfelt condolences over the loss of precious lives of Chinese nationals, added the PMO statement. The premier added that the people of Pakistan shared the grief and pain of the bereaved families.

Imran also underlined that the government of Pakistan was providing the best possible medical care to the injured Chinese nationals.

"Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that Pakistan and China had an iron-clad friendship which had withstood the vicissitudes of time. No hostile forces would be allowed to damage brotherly relations between Pakistan and China," the communique concluded.

On Thursday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry sought to demystify ambiguity around a deadly bus tragedy involving Chinese engineers a day after a frenzied media guessing game on the possible causes of the fatal crash.

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.

“Initial investigations into the Dasu incident have now confirmed traces of explosives. Terrorism cannot be ruled out,” Fawad Chaudhry wrote on his verified Twitter handle on Thursday.

“PM [Imran Khan] is personally supervising all developments. The government is in close coordination with the Chinese Embassy in this regard. We are committed to fighting the menace of terrorism together,” the information minister had added.

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