China has for long strived to usurp the vast swathes of Pakistan under the garb of its super-ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Project. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is tight lipped about the CCP’s evil plans; however, Pakistani militant outfits are looking askance upon the things that have been going down over the past few years. Resultantly, the livid outfits are taking upon themselves to beat the living daylights out of the CCP and have now resorted to strip Chinese workers and engineers off their lives in broad daylight. Just after two weeks of the bus explosion that left 9 Chinese nationals killed, another incident happened on Wednesday, where a Chinese national was shot and wounded in Pakistan’s largest city Karachi.
The perpetrators of the attack were not identified; however, the trends show that this could be carried out by either of the anti-establishment militant outfits which seek to fuel secessionism in the Pakistani provinces of Balochistan and Sindh. The unabated attacks on Chinese nationals in Pakistan are putting Imran Khan’s Administration on a direct collision course with the Chinese Government. The bus explosion incident witnessed two contradictory statements coming out from Islamabad and Beijing, where Pakistan was adamant on declaring it a simple accident while Chinese authorities were calling the incident as a “terrorist attack.”
Eventually, the Global Times Editor-in-chief Hu Xijin had to issue a warning to Islamabad that if it is not able to eliminate the terrorists responsible for the attack, Chinese missiles and forces can be put into action to accomplish the task. “The cowardly terrorists behind this attack dare not show up until now. But they will definitely be found out and must be exterminated. If Pakistan’s capability is not enough, with its consent, China’s missiles and special forces can be put into action,” the editor-in-chief of the state-affiliated media Global Times had said.
The cowardly terrorists behind this attack dare not show up until now. But they will definitely be found out and must be exterminated. If Pakistan’s capability is not enough, with its consent, China’s missiles and special forces can be put into action. https://t.co/6Y6caJWGr3
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) July 16, 2021
The message from these two attacks is clear. The Pakistani outfits do not want the Chinese government to take up the massive infrastructural projects in Pakistani provinces that threatens the livelihoods of poor Balochi and Sindhis who are already mired in poverty and destitution. For instance, the Chinese worker who was shot and wounded in the Karachi attack and another Chinese national were being driven to Karachi’s industrial area when the attack was carried out by two masked persons riding a motorbike. Besides, the targeted bus in the bomb explosion case was carrying around 40 Chinese engineers, surveyors and mechanical staff to a hydropower dam construction site in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The project is being developed under CPEC only.
Not just that, in April this year, the Islamist organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) carried out a deadly explosion in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan’s Quetta that the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan might have missed by perhaps just a few minutes. A powerful explosion in the form of a suicide attack had struck the parking lot of Serena Hotel, where eminent Chinese personalities were staying in.
Pakistan is under great pressure from China to rein in these militant outfits that Pakistan terms as terrorist organisations. Pakistan is said to have deployed more than 60,000 troops to safeguard the Chinese projects from these attacks. However, the herculean efforts being made at the government and military level are bringing no respite to the frightened Chinese working in Pakistan.
Out of fear and frustration, the Chinese workers are themselves taking up arms in their bid to keep the attackers at bay. Of late, various Photographs from Pakistan have emerged that show Chinese workers armed with AK-47 rifles while carrying out maintenance tasks at various CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) projects in Pakistan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping desperately wants to save CPEC and this has brought Imran Khan in a situation where he needs to make sure the project does not fail. However, the livid Pakistanis are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to deal a scathing blow to the Chinese ambitions here. China has promised more than $60 Billion for the various CPEC projects being built under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Reports show that a desperate Pakistan has now launched tentative peace talks with the rebel leaders of Balochistan province, which comes in the backdrop of these unabated attacks on the Chinese nationals. Some experts speculated that Khan’s decision to engage Baloch separatists might lead to Chinese envoys being sent to negotiate with Baloch political figures exiled in Britain and Switzerland. However, the Balochs have stopped short of rejecting Islamabad’s move to end the conflict, which has raged in many parts of the sparsely populated Balochistan, a critical region for China’s BRI.
Long story short, China is ready to go all out to placate these militant outfits and to heavily pressurize the Pakistani government at once; however, Pakistani people are simply refusing to budge. This will not only lead to the acceleration of Pakistan’s failure as a country, but it will also be a major embarrassment for China’s BRI.