Increased Terrorist Attack On Foreign Nationals Would Scupper Chinese Ties: Pakistan Media

Any further increase in terrorist attacks in Pakistan due to the crisis unfolding in Afghanistan further poses serious national security challenges, reported news agency ANI, citing a Pakistan daily’s editorial. The report also said that the increased terror attacks in Pakistan would solidly topple the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The editorial also noted that Islamabad must continue to remain a peaceful nation where foreign citizens feel safe.

“Otherwise, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain healthy strategic ties with useful allies, not to mention the economic impact if countries such as China start pulling out their investments,” the editorial read, as per ANI.

The article was published after two children lost their lives last week along with three others including a Chinese national, in a suicide attack targeting the vehicle carrying the foreign citizens near the East Bay Expressway in Gwadar, Balochistan. The Chinese embassy in Pakistan had said,

“The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan strongly condemns this act of terrorism, extends its sincere sympathies to the injured of both countries, and expresses its deep condolences to the innocent victims in Pakistan.”

The blast, which was the second attack on Chinese nationals, occurred near the construction site that’s a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Last month, the Dasu dam site incident in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa claimed the lives of 13 people including nine Chinese nationals. The China-based company, which was constructing the dam in KP, later announced that it suspended the work after the blast killed several engineers.

“An uptick in terrorism in the country owning to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan that has escalated the threat level posed by groups such as the TTP coupled with elements such as the Baloch Liberation Army poses serious national security challenges,” the editorial read.

CPEC and opposition in Balochistan

Meanwhile, Balochistan, as per the report, is considered to be a resource-rich region but also the least developed province in the country. For several decades, a movement of freedom has been prevailing in Balochistan as many residents believe that the region was independent before 1947 and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan. Further, CPEC is regarded as one of the most significant components of China’s $60 billion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, it has also triggered criticism from various political parties in Pakistan and locals from Balochistan.