Balochistan Liberation Army – The separatist group, has claimed responsibility for the Karachi attack in a tweet, “Karachi: Fidayeen of BLA attacked the Chinese Embassy in Karachi.” Five are dead following a terrorist attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi’s high-security red zone. Balochistan Liberation Army clarified its objective, “we will not tolerate any Chinese military expansionist endeavours on the Baloch soil.”
Javed Alam, the Deputy Inspector General of Police of Karachi South Region confirmed that two policemen and three other unknown persons were killed when a group of terrorists opened fire on them in the Diplomatic Zone where several foreign missions are located. China confirmed that all staff inside the consulate are safe. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing called for extra measures to safeguard Chinese citizens in Pakistan.
Following the gunfire, the security forces including the police and commandos of the Pakistan Army rushed to the site and cordoned off the area and launched an operation against the terrorists. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has denounced the terrorist attack as a ‘conspiracy’ against China-Pakistan strategic cooperation. He has ordered an inquiry.
China’s Role in Balochistan
The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which runs through Balochistan is Beijing’s ambitious project. China is seeking to connect its western Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in Balochistan. This incident has no doubt created a deep concern as China has already pumped billions of dollars into it
Two months ago, the BLA had launched a suicide attack on a bus carrying Chinese engineers in Dalbandin. Six people were injured. Other armed Baloch separatist groups have also been attacking Chinese personnel since the launch of CPEC. They had termed the project as an ‘imperialist’ endeavour.
Balochistan is one of the four provinces of Pakistan. It shares borders with Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Arabian Sea, Iran and Afghanistan. Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest and least populated province.