Karachi: Security has been increased for Chinese nationals working in Pakistan as an aftermath of a failed terror attack targetting them in the port town of Gwadar in the restive Balochistan province, sources said on Tuesday.
The Chinese consulate in Karachi confirmed the Sunday attack on its citizens who were travelling in a military convoy in Gwadar, working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
Gwadar is one of the focal points of the multi-billion CPEC, with many Chinese workers working at the port. China is investing heavily in Balochistan under the CPEC.
While the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said it had killed two terrorists, it didn’t mention the Chinese nationals in the convoy or whether they were targeted.
But the Chinese consulate issued a statement saying the attacked convoy was carrying Chinese workers.
“A Chinese convoy from the Gwadar port project was hit by roadside bombs and gunfire on its way back to the port area from the Gwadar Airport,” the statement said. It added that “no Chinese citizens were killed or injured”.
The consulate also asked the Pakistan government to “severely punish the perpetrators and take concrete and effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens, institutions and projects,” Sources in the Sindh and Balochistan police and paramilitary forces said that security had been upped for the Chinese working on the CPEC projects in the Balochistan province and other parts of Pakistan.
The Chinese consulate has also activated its contingency plan and reminded all its citizens in Pakistan to remain vigilant, upgrade their security measures and pay attention to the security situation to ensure their safety.
Chinese nationals have frequently come under attack in different parts of Pakistan, and these incidents have not gone down well with Beijing.
In July 2021, China reacted strongly when 13 people, including nine Chinese workers, were killed in a bus attack near the Dasu hydropower plant in the Upper Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
In April last year, three Chinese teachers and their local driver who were posted at the Karachi University campus were killed in a suicide attack carried out by an outlawed Baloch separatist party.
Baloch separatists also carried out a failed attack on the Chinese consultant in Karachi in 2018, in which four terrorists were killed in a gun battle with security forces.
Balochistan, bordering Iran and Afghanistan, is home to a long-running violent insurgency. Baloch insurgent groups have carried out several attacks targeting the CPEC projects in the region in recent times.