Terrifying CPEC

1
116

Enemy trying to throw a wrench in the gears 

 

“China and Pakistan have been closely collaborating against terrorism. The activities of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and tribal areas of Pakistan and their supporters have been cut back through China-Pakistan joint efforts. Terrorism is still a threat and it has not vanished yet. China acknowledges sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in fight against terrorism in the past 15 years.”

 

 

A deliberate and planned targeted bomb blast on a Chinese engineer, Finche, 25 years old, in Karachi on 30 May, sent a shock wave across the country. The news also upset China. Finche was working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects in Sindh. There are over 118 projects in Sindh that also includes railway tracks, roads, wind power projects, nuclear reactors, and coal fired-projects.

The purpose of the blast was to terrify the Chinese engineers, workers, and entrepreneurs working on the CPEC related projects or engaged on any commercial activities as part of companies. Since 2013, after the idea of CPEC was floated, the attack on the Chinese engineer is the first causality of CPEC-related personnel on the soil of Pakistan.

The purpose of the attack was politically motivated. There are nationalist bodies in Sindh. Some of them are linked with India and its intelligence agencies since the time of partition. The pamphlet found at the spot of incident, written in Sindhi language, speaks of Sindhi nationalist and separatist group propagated by the Sindhu Desh Revolutionary Party (SDRP)/ Sindhu Desh Liberation Army (SDLA).  The SDLA is an ethnic offshoot of the Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz (JSMM), founded by Sindhi nationalist G.M. Syed.

Some reports suggested that the SDLA is splinter group of the JSMM and it believes in guerrilla warfare and violent extremism to achieve its goals. The SDLA was banned by the Government for its involvement in terrorist activities. Another reports says that the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar have also made the same claims.

The pamphlet talks ills about China-Pakistan relationship. The language of the pamphlet looks written out side of Pakistan’s soil. It says that the Chinese are ally of Pakistan and Punjabi establishment and they are seen as the enemies of Sindhi because they are assisting in the theft of natural resources of Sindh. “The world’s most plunderous nation (China) has set its eye on Sindh,” the pamphlet said. Sindhi nationalists are demanding royalties of coal from coal exploration.

Over 12,000 Chinese citizens are engaged in CPEC-related and commercial businesses in Pakistan. India thinks that in order to make Chabahar a success, Gwadar and CPEC must be targeted. Unfortunately, some of Pakistan’s neighbours are assisting them in their game-plans. The main purpose of the blast is to target the CPEC and raise concerns about the safety of Chinese projects in Pakistan.

 

 “Over 12,000 Chinese citizens are engaged in CPEC-related and commercial businesses in Pakistan. India thinks that in order to make Chabahar a success, Gwadar and CPEC must be targeted. Unfortunately, some of Pakistan’s neighbours are assisting them in their game-plans.”

 

The SRP links with the Indian RAW could not be overlooked. India is behind sabotaging activities against the CPEC. Serving officer of Indian navy, Kulbushan Yadav, was arrested in March who was on terrorist mission against CPEC. Indians oppose the CPEC and Chinese investment in Pakistan.  They consider it a threat to their grand designs in the Indian Ocean and Jammu and Kashmir.

Chinese Government has taken a serious notice of this incident and warned its residents in Pakistan to remain on security alert.  The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and Consulate-General in Karachi instantly lodged representations with the Pakistani side, asking them to get to the bottom of this incident and take concrete measures to protect Chinese personnel.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on 31 May in Beijing that Chinese Government attaches great importance to this incident. The Pakistani side is working on the investigation. Over 22 suspects were being arrested and a case has been registered against the SRA by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) looking into different angles including their links with the RAW.

Attacking Chinese nationals in Pakistan is a pre-CPEC phenomenon. There is a chronology of attacks on Chinese citizens in Pakistan since the construction work on Gwadar was started in 2002. Three Chinese engineers were killed by a car bomb in Gwadar in 2004. In July 2012, a bomb disposal squad defused a bomb planted in a motorcycle near the Chinese consulate in Karachi. Later a group of 11 Chinese engineers escaped a bomb attack in Clifton in Karachi in May 2013. In June 2013, 11 tourists were killed by terrorists in Naga Parbat including one Chinese and one dual nationality Chinese.

China and Pakistan have been closely collaborating against terrorism. The activities of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and tribal areas of Pakistan and their supporters have been cut back through China-Pakistan joint efforts. Terrorism is still a threat and it has not vanished yet. China acknowledges sacrifices rendered by Pakistan in fight against terrorism in the past 15 years.

China is Pakistan largest trading partner. Bilateral trade has gone beyond US$ 19 billion this year. China is also the largest investor in Pakistan. The destiny of Pakistan is intertwined with China.  Terrorist attacks could not damage this robust and matured partnership. Both have strong resolve to fight back terrorism.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. This article is contributed by Dr Ahmad Rashid Malik but editor missed out his name. Please note this change.

Comments are closed.