Beijing condemns attack on its nationals in Gwadar


This was the second attack on Chinese nationals in the country, a month after the Dasu dam site incident in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which left at least 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals….reports Asian Lite News

China on Saturday strongly condemned a suicide attack on its nationals in Balochistan’s Gwadar, asking Pakistan “to take practical and effective measures”.

Earlier on Friday, two children were killed while three others, including a Chinese national, were injured in a suicide attack targeting a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals near the East Bay Expressway in Gwadar, Balochistan.

“The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan launched the emergency plan immediately, demanding Pakistan to properly treat the wounded, conduct a thorough investigation on the attack, and severely punish the perpetrators,” The Express Tribune reported citing the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan statement.

This was the second attack on Chinese nationals in the country, a month after the Dasu dam site incident in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, which left at least 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals.

China stated that all relevant departments at ‘all levels’ in Pakistan must take ‘practical and effective measures’ to implement strengthened security measures.

“At the same time, relevant departments at all levels in Pakistan must take practical and effective measures to accelerate to implement strengthened whole-process security measures and upgraded security cooperation mechanism to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again,” the statement said.

The embassy also asked Pakistan to ensure proper treatment of the injured Chinese national, who was been shifted to a hospital in Gwadar for treatment, The Express Tribune reported.

“There have been several terrorist attacks in succession, resulting in the casualties of several Chinese citizens. The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan reminds the Chinese citizens in Pakistan to be vigilant, strengthen safety precautions, reduce unnecessary outings, and take effective security protections,” the statement added.

Protest against China in Gwadar

Protests have erupted in Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar against a severe shortage of water and electricity and threats to livelihoods, which have been blamed on the Chinese.

The protests are part of a growing backlash against China’s multibillion-dollar belt and road projects in the country, The Guardian reported.

This week, demonstrators, including fishers and other local workers, blocked the roads in Gwadar, a coastal town in Balochistan.

They burnt tyres, chanted slogans and shut down the city to demand water and electricity and a stop to Chinese trawlers illegally fishing in the nearby waters and then taking the catch to China.

Two people were injured when the authorities cracked down on the protesters.

“We have been protesting and rallying against the Chinese trawlers, and shortage of water and electricity for over a month now. But the government never paid heed to our demands. We had to observe a complete shutdown strike and we were attacked by the district administration,” said Faiz Nigori, a local political worker.

The protests are part of a growing discontent with China’s presence in Gwadar, whose port is an integral part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC), in which China has invested billions in infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

Under the project, Pakistan surrendered the Gwadar port to a Chinese-backed multinational corporation for a lease of 40 years. It is part of China’s mammoth belt and road initiative, which stretches across 70 countries to give China a clear trade route from east Asia to Europe.

The Pakistan government accepted China’s investment in the hope that it would help boost the country’s ailing economy. But Balochistan is home to a long-running violent insurgency, and China’s presence in Gwadar has been the cause of much social unrest, leading to great anti-Chinese sentiments, the report said.

It has also given a fillip to Baloch militant insurgent groups, who have carried out terrorist attacks in protest at CPEC projects. However, there are signs that resentment at belt and road projects is growing across the country.

Nine Chinese workers were killed last month when a vehicle laden with explosives and driven by a suicide attacker rammed a convoy heading out to work on the Dasu dam, another flagship CPEC project.

China’s ambassador to Pakistan was also targeted in a terrorist attack at his hotel in April, though he was not hurt. (ANI/IANS)

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