May 21, 2022 marks the 71st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan For a long time, under the careful cultivation of successive leaders and people from all walks of life, the friendship between China and Pakistan is like a flourishing tree with deep roots. The Sino-Pakistani friendship is rooted more and more deeply in the hearts of the two peoples. In Pakistan, there is a poem in Urdu: “The beautiful image of a friend is in the mirror of my heart, and if you bow down, you can see it. “When Xi Jinping came to Pakistan for his first annual visit in April 2015, he used this poem in Urdu to describe China-Pakistan friendship.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a reference project of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. It leaves from Kashgar in Xinjiang in the north and from the port of Gwadar in Pakistan in the south. It is a commercial corridor comprising roads, railways, oil and gas pipelines and communications and optical cables. With an investment scale of over 30 billion US dollars, the whole project is the “flagship project” of the “Belt and Road” construction plan. The project crosses several provinces of Pakistan, from Gwadar, Balochistan, through Punjab, Sind, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, to the Khunjarab pass and into China.
CPEC is conducive to promoting employment and its development results will benefit the grassroots in Pakistan. The road infrastructure project is expected to create 51,000 jobs, over 94% of which will be offered to local Pakistanis. All Sino-Pakistani joint ventures will create 1.2 million jobs, more than 33% of which will be open only to Pakistanis. From 2015 to 2030, CPEC will create a total of 2.3 million jobs, bringing more than 2.5% annual growth to Pakistan’s GDP. At present, CPEC has completed many projects, including roads, railways, seaports, oil and gas pipelines, optical fibers, special economic zones, cross-border business cooperation centers and the signing of free trade agreements.
Balochistan is the largest province in Pakistan, covering 44% of the land area of the country, with abundant mineral and tourism resources, innate conditions for the development of agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, industries dairy farms and a 750 km coastline and a deep water port. With the development of Gwadar FFTA and special economic zones, Balochistan is becoming more attractive for investors.
Balochi region and Sindh region represented by Gwadar port are the main construction areas of CPEC, but there are also multiple security threats to CPEC in the region, among which national separatist forces are the most serious threat. more direct for safety. Since 2020, Sindh and Balochistan separatism has become increasingly active, and these separatist groups declared an alliance in August 2020, a move that could increase the terrorist threat among Chinese citizens in Karachi.
Pakistani separatism is mainly reflected in the issue of Balochistan, which is closely linked to the national separation of Balochistan. The federal government has adopted a strict policy on separation from Balochistan, and the province has been plagued by the infiltration of some international forces and the influence of terrorism in the country.
These separatists aim to fight against the Pakistani government and military forces and constantly attack Pakistani military and political personnel and facilities. Since 2021, terrorist attacks and bombings in Balochistan and other cities in Pakistan have increased sharply, mainly targeting security personnel and infrastructure.
In recent years, attacks on the CPEC have also increased, killing the lives of innocent Chinese citizens. On August 11, 2018, a suicide bombing against Chinese engineers in Dalbadin, Baluchistan, three Chinese and three members of local security forces were injured: on November 23, 2018, three militants were killed and two guards were killed; on May 11, 2019, at the Pearl Intercontinental Hotel near Gwadar Port Free Zone, three hotel security guards were killed. On July 14, 2021, a shuttle for the Dasu hydropower project in KPK province, contracted by a Chinese company, exploded on its way to the construction site, killing nine Chinese and injuring 28 Chinese. On July 28, 2021, two Chinese citizens in Karachi, Sindh were shot dead on a bus near Gulbai Bridge, injuring one of them. On April 26, 2022, a terrorist attack on a Confucius Institute bus at the University of Karachi in Pakistan, killing three Chinese professors and injuring one.
Frequent attacks on the CPEC in recent years include the strong sense of sovereignty that some separatist armed groups in Balochistan recognize that China’s investments violate their territorial sovereignty while the majority of them are not hostile to China itself. same, but they attack the Chinese as bargaining chips with the Pakistani government. They hope to pressure the Pakistani government by attacking Chinese properties and citizens as a means of rebelling against the Pakistani government, as CPEC is a project signed by the Pakistani government and China.
For these reasons, they have blown up many gas pipelines, bridges, roads, fleets, trains and attacked Chinese engineers to push Chinese investors and pressure the Pakistani government through this harsh development crackdown. Baloch separatist groups have posed a growing threat to CPEC, including threatening the personal safety of local Chinese personnel, impeding the smooth running of the project, and increasing security and maintenance costs for the project. interests are no reason for Baloch to undermine CPEC let alone kill innocent Chinese citizens. The Chinese Foreign Ministry, Chinese Embassy and Consulate in Pakistan immediately launched the emergency response mechanism for the terrorist attack at the Confucius Institute on April 26 this year. Deputy Minister Wu Jianghao sent an urgent appeal to Pakistan’s Ambassador to China to express grave concern and asked the Pakistani side to thoroughly investigate the matter and punish the murderer according to law. At the same time, all measures will ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan and never allow such incidents to happen again. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also later published an article saying it would resolutely crack down on the terrorist organizations involved. Chinese blood cannot be shed in vain, and the people behind this incident will surely pay the price.
Now the situation is very serious, in this difficult time, only China comes to Pakistan for investment, for development, for the betterment of the country and the people of Pakistan, it is time to make foolproof security arrangements for the Chinese , to work hard to deal with separatist groups, and to create a better and safer environment for Chinese people living in Pakistan.