KU suicide attack: A failed attempt to sabotage CPEC | By Asad Ali


KU suicide attack: A failed attempt to sabotage CPEC

PAKISTAN was stunned when recently a high qualified female suicide bomber with a noble background from Balochistan blew herself inside Karachi University killing three Chinese language teachers from university’s Confucius Institute and their Pakistani driver ripping through their minibus.

It has been rightly taken as a premeditated attempt to sabotage CPEC by Pakistani authorities—a hope for already crippled economy of country.

It is obvious that the beneficiaries of this brutal attack wanted to achieve multiple objectives by orchestrating this tragic incident—to spoil China-Pak relationship and to incapacitate CPEC projects in Pakistan.

However, the enemies of Pakistan must understand that Pakistani nation has strong nerves and security forces of Pakistan are competent enough to retaliate and defend its soil.

The blast also seems to be an attempt of creating differences between Balochistan and federation of Pakistan whereas federation of Pakistan has already launched many mega projects in Balochistan by taking other measures to address grievances of the province due to which situation in province was lynching back to normalcy.

The anti-Pakistan and banned terrorist organization Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) said it attacked the vehicle carrying Chinese staff, and that the suicide bomber had been a woman.

The group opposes Chinese investment in Pakistan, claiming that locals are not getting benefits out of it.

It would be the first time a suicide attack by the BLA has been carried out by a female militant who also was government employee and her family members are also employees in different state run institutions.

The group has targeted Chinese nationals on a number of occasions, as has Pakistani Taliban.

China is heavily investing in large infrastructure projects across Pakistan, including in resource-rich Balochistan province.

CCTV footage shared by the police showed a woman clad in a Burka detonated herself outside the Confucius Institute.

In a statement shared with CNN, the BLA said Confucius Institute was targeted because it is a symbol of Chinese economic, cultural and political expansionism.

Pakistani government has responded by saying that blood of Chinese people should not be shed in vain, and those behind this incident will surely pay the price.

The Chinese Government expressed strong condemnation and indignation over the attack and demanded Pakistan investigate thoroughly, punish those responsible, ensure safety of Chinese citizens and prevent such incidents from happening again.

In the past there have been many attempts on Chinese working in Pakistan as China is a close partner of Pakistan and its biggest source of military and economic support.

But in recent years, terrorist attacks targeting Chinese nationals and their interests in Pakistan have alarmed Beijing.

In 2018, BLA claimed another attack in which gunmen tried to storm Chinese Consulate in Karachi.

It said it would not tolerate any Chinese military expansionist endeavours. In 2020, five people died when Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi was targeted in an attack claimed by BLA, which described its actions as retaliation against Chinese exploitative plans in Balochistan.

Last year, 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals, were killed in an explosion that hit a bus convoy carrying Chinese engineers to a hydro-power plant construction site in Northern Pakistan.

However, China and Pakistan have vowed to work together on CPEC despite all odds which is very depressing for those against CPEC.

As a matter of fact the security forces of Pakistan have launched successful operations against banned terrorist organizations in Balochistan and government has initiated a number of programs for socio-economic uplif of the province due to which the insurgents are failing to impress the mainstream population of the province unlike their propaganda that Islamabad has monopoly over Balochistan’s mineral resources.

Spread over a vast area and composing 48% of the total area of Pakistan but least in population, Balochistan borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

It is significantly fundamental to the country’s massive multibillion-dollar infrastructure deal with Beijing.

The security agencies of Pakistan have thrown a monkey wrench in the works of these terrorist attacks many times in the past and it is hoped that as a result of the investigation the masterminds of the Karachi attack will be booked under law and on diplomatic fronts holding strings of these miscreants.

Habitan Bashir Baloch, the husband of the bomber Shari Baloch as per reports has been arrested and he knew about the connection of her wife with BLA and her sign up as suicide bomber.

Investigators also found a link between some of her relatives and the Baloch Students Organization (BSO), which claimed responsibility for the attack that has been banned by the Pak government.

The attack has been condemned by the global community, including the United Nations Security Council, which called it heinous and cowardly.

India and global community must learn that only a stable and economically empowered Pakistan is a viable option for the global and regional peace as Pakistan is an atomic power with 6th largest population in the world—the sooner it is realized the better.

Therefore, Indian government and security establishment must stay away from Pakistan’s internal affairs and immediately stop funding and providing trainings to anti-Pakistan elements.

—The writer is Islamabad based expert of strategic affairs.


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