Terror incidents in Pakistan risk jeopardising CPEC

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Last week, two children were killed while three others, including a Chinese national, were injured in a suicide attack…reports Asian Lite News

An uptick in terrorism in Pakistan owing to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan poses serious national security challenges, said a Pakistani daily, adding that more terror attacks in Pakistan would surely jeopardise China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Pakistan Today, in an editorial, said that Islamabad must remain a peaceful country where foreign nationals 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.

Last week, 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.

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 dead, including nine Chinese nationals.

“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.

Balochistan is a resource-rich but least developed province of Pakistan where a movement for freedom is ongoing for the past several decades.

Many Baloch believe that the region was independent before 1947 and was forcibly occupied by Pakistan.

While successive governments have promised to criminalise enforced disappearance, none has taken concrete steps and the practice continues with impunity.

CPEC, which is regarded as one of the most important components of the USD 60 billion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) initiative, has faced opposition from various political parties in Pakistan and locals from Balochistan.

Moreover, the hype created by the Pakistan government through projecting the CPEC as a panacea for all problems is rapidly losing steam. Also, China had stalled many projects due to disputes over debts.

Balochs also has been contesting such Chinese-led investment-oriented development strategies. Concerns about debt traps, lack of transparency, aggressive diplomacy, and friction due to excessive use of Chinese labour have often resulted in discord at the local level. (ANI)

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