Islamabad / Beijing
So far, 9 Chinese nationals and three Pakistani security personnel have been killed in a horrific bombing of a bus carrying Chinese engineers in the violence-stricken Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China was shocked by the attack and strongly condemned the incident. The Chinese spokesman called on the Imran government to have this whole matter strictly investigated and those responsible for the attack to be arrested and that Chinese citizens and the project be honestly protected.
Pakistan initially tried to cover up the incident as an accident, but the Chinese Embassy confirmed it was a bomb attack. After that, Imran Khan’s parliamentary adviser Babar Awan confirmed that Chinese civilians had been shelled. Awan called it a cowardly attack. On the other hand, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid will soon be able to make a statement on the incident.
The government of Pakistan has sent a high-level team to Upper Kohistan. All these engineers had to build a local hydroelectric project. The government of Pakistan has claimed that security personnel are deployed on a large scale to protect Chinese citizens. He said all the injured were taken to hospital by helicopter. It is said that this attack took place at 7:30 a.m.
You might as well say that China is executing many projects in Pakistan as part of the multi-billion dollar CPEC plan. Local people oppose these plans from China. A few months ago, rebels in Quetta blew up a hotel with explosives targeting the Chinese ambassador. The rebels had received information that the Chinese ambassador was staying at the Serena Hotel in Quetta. However, he was not present at the hotel at the time of the attack. At least five people were killed in the blast.
Anti-Chinese Liberation Army in Balochistan continues to attack
Suspicion of the attack on the hotel was cast on the Balochistan Liberation Army operating in the region. This organization has carried out several attacks against Chinese officials and employees in the past. The same organization is also believed to be involved in the attack on the Karachi stock exchange last year. In 2006, Balochistan’s most influential leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti, was assassinated by the Pakistani army on the orders of Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf was also arrested in 2013 in connection with his murder.
Musharraf said at the time in his defense that these leaders were demanding a share of the revenues from oil and mining production. The Balochistan Liberation Army has always opposed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. On several occasions, this organization has also been accused of targeting Chinese citizens working in Pakistan. There are allegations that Pakistan made the decision on the CPEC without consulting the Baloch leaders.