Zubeda Anjum Niazi
In a recent coward suicide blast near Karachi University, three Chinese teachers were killed along with their Pakistani driver.
This new wave of terror incidents and targetting the Chinese nationals are a sheer act of deplorable proxy threats to regional peace and security.
These heinous acts, indubitably aimed at staunch Pakistan-China partnership, are highly condemnable. There is no force in the world that can shake and undo the solid foundation of the Pakistan-China friendship.
In fact, the naysayers of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the long-standing partnership are creating this situation.
At this moment of sadness, Pakistani brothers and sisters are standing in solidarity with their Chinese brethren.
Right after the incident, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who took the oath a few weeks ago, dashed to meet the representative of the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad with Federal Ministers.
The Prime Minister conveyed condolences and pledged an in-depth probe into the incident, along with delivering retribution to the perpetrators and strengthening the security of Chinese personnel, as well as institutions working in Pakistan.
This rising wave of terrorism is sprouting from the neighboring region, especially from the countries that have always remained against the CPEC and the progress that Pakistan has made so far.
It is important that the joint message from both the Chinese and Pakistani sides was that the perpetrator of such acts will never succeed with their sinister designs.
Many countries across the world condemned the incident and expressed solidarity. Terrorism in every shape is condemnable as it is one of the gravest threats to global security and peace.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in a press statement also urged cooperation between the Governments of Pakistan and China along with other relevant authorities in pursuit of justice.
Earlier there were several attacks on the Chinese personnel and entities, however, as a result of the close security cooperation, both countries have been able to thwart many attacks.
Moreover, there have been strong security and military ties between Pakistan and China, especially after the inception of CPEC.
Although the Chinese academicians became a victim of the reprehensible act, leaving behind bereaving families, the main objective of the politically motivated act of terrorism undoubtedly was to create a chasm in the impregnable China-Pakistan partnership.
It is pertinent to note that the BLA is a separatist and global terrorist group that has been repeatedly targeting CPEC-related projects and personnel.
After the suicide attack, the BLA released a photo of a woman who had carried out the attack. According to the local media, the bomber had been a student at the same university.
The three Chinese killed included the Director of the University’s Confucius Institute as well as two teachers. China expressed emphatic condemnation of the terrorist attack.
After the unfortunate event, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in Pakistan activated the emergency response mechanism immediately.
Of late, Balochistan has been the target of the separatists who have become a tool in the agenda of external factors to destabilize Pakistan along with targeting China via various ignoble incidents.
It is a rich province in terms of natural resources, nevertheless, it is Pakistan’s most deficient province as well as home to a long-running insurgency.
The province has experienced major transformation through Chinese infrastructure projects on the CPEC which include a network of roads, railways, and pipelines between China and Pakistan.
This latest upsurge in militancy, though unfortunate, is not a new phenomenon. It is partially inspired by “external elements” since both India and the US do not like the growing role of China in Pakistan, most notably the CPEC.
After the change of government in Pakistan, the terrorist attacks have increased. This is partly because the external factors do not want China to work in Pakistan and partly because it was the right moment for the insurgents to take advantage, because of the political unrest in the country.
It is a very well-known fact that some countries are not in favor of a thriving CPEC, hence the latest strategy of these countries is to contain China and create challenges for the country and its strong allies.
In case of such cowardly incidents, perpetrators, organizers, financiers as well as sponsors must be brought to justice forthwith, under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions.
It is universally accepted that such acts of terrorism are unlawful and inexcusable, no matter the motivation or cause.
Along these lines, to rid the society of this plague, all competent authorities must come forward to tackle the issue as per the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law.
These include international human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international refugee law as well as threats to global security and peace generated by terrorist actions.
It is noteworthy, that the Government of Pakistan along with China initiated a joint probe to mete out justice and curb any such untoward incidents in the future.
Besides, even though the country is experiencing political unrest, the security agencies must up the ante to deter the perpetrators.
*The writer is Research Fellow at the Centre for BRI and China Studies