In yet another attack, Chinese nationals in Pakistan were targeted in what seems to be a bizarre attempt to derail the path of progress and stability. Friday’s attack in Gwadar should be taken more seriously as it was reportedly carried out by a suicide bomber. A minor rammed into a vehicle carrying Chinese workers. This suicide activity points out at deep-rooted fissures. Nonetheless, in a heroic effort security personnel present on the spot did all in their capacity to limit damage, and thwarted a major tragedy. Two children died on the spot and three others, including a Chinese citizen, were injured.
This is the second such attack in almost a month apparently on Chinese nationals engaged in various CPEC projects countrywide. The previous one was on Dasu Hydropower Project in the remote Kohistan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. What makes Friday’s act dare-devil is that a security convoy of the Pakistan Army accompanying the Chinese was targeted. This hints at not only formal planning on the part of vested interests, but also a mindset prevalent to sabotage Pakistan-China cordiality and cooperation. But the credit goes to the visionary Chinese leadership who always looks at the bigger picture of regional development, and moves on with resilience. This is what makes this understanding an all-weather friendship.
While CPEC is nearing completion and there is a change of guard in Afghanistan, Pakistan will have to raise its vigil. There are non-state actors, as well as foreign-funded elements in political disguise, whose one-point agenda is to indulge in sabotage activities and unwind the gigantic development that Pakistan is witnessing under Chinese auspices. A glance at all such cowardly attacks carried out on Chinese assets were meant to stall the pace of development.
At the same, the security blanket seems to be unsatisfactory as there are certainly loopholes in it. This is why terror remnants are at their free will to choose their targets. The recent hurling of a grenade on a family truck, and gunmen who shot a Chinese engineer who had just arrived in Karachi; the motorcycle bomb blast in Quetta; and the audacity of anyone to lay siege to the federal capital hint at ensuing unrest. Take them out with smart intelligence gathering.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2021.
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