‘Punish the perpetrators’: China presses Pakistan for ‘practical measures’ after Gwadar attack

Published August 21, 2021
A damaged vehicle is seen at the blast site in Gwadar on Aug. 20, 2021. — Photo courtesy: Xinhua
A damaged vehicle is seen at the blast site in Gwadar on Aug. 20, 2021. — Photo courtesy: Xinhua

The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan on Saturday “strongly condemned” a suicide attack targeting a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in Balochistan's Gwadar district on Friday, asking Pakistan “to take practical and effective measures” to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future.

At least two children were killed and three people were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself near the vehicle at around 7pm yesterday (Friday). Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani had confirmed it was a suicide attack.

Banned Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Majeed Brigade, had later in the day claimed responsibility for the attack.

In its statement today, the Chinese Embassy demanded Pakistan to properly treat the wounded and “conduct a thorough investigation on the attack, and severely punish the perpetrators.”

It also extended “its sincere sympathies to the injured of both countries” and expressed its deep condolences to the victims in Pakistan.

“At the same time, relevant departments at all levels in Pakistan must take practical and effective measures to accelerate to implement strengthened whole-process security measures and upgraded security cooperation mechanism to ensure that similar incidents will not happen again,” the embassy said.

The statement pointed out that the security situation in Pakistan had been severe of late as “there have been several terrorist attacks in succession, resulting in the casualties of several Chinese citizens.”

The embassy reminded the Chinese citizens in Pakistan to be “vigilant, strengthen safety precautions, reduce unnecessary outings, and take effective security protections.”

China is heavily involved in the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea as part of the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself part of China's Belt and Road infrastructure project.

There have been other attacks targeting Chinese nationals in the country in recent weeks.

Late last month, a Chinese engineer who had recently arrived in Karachi was shot at and wounded in a moving car by gunmen riding a motorcycle in the city's SITE area where he was supposed to repair imported machinery. The banned Balochistan Liberation Front had claimed responsibility for that attack.

On July 14, a bus carrying Chinese workers in the Dasu area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Upper Kohistan district fell into a ravine after an explosion, killing 13 people, including nine Chinese nationals. The blast left 28 other people injured.

After initially suggesting that the incident was an accident, the government earlier this month said a suicide bomber had attacked the bus which was carrying Chinese workers to the under-construction Dasu dam.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said last week that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Dir­ectorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agencies were behind the attack.

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