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Security condition improved, but not taking it for granted


By Zhou Rong    Source: Gwadar Pro    Published: 2019-5-13

On the afternoon of May 11, the Pakistan Military Public Relations Department (ISPR) issued a message that at least three terrorists muscled into the Pearl Continental hotel but was challenged by hotel guards. In the exchange of fire, one security guard was killed. Shortly after, the security forces rushed to the spot, quickly blocking dangerous areas, and immediately evacuating hotel guests in an orderly and safe way. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the flagship project of international cooperation. The construction of the Gwadar Port is also the flagship project of CPEC and one of the key points of the CPEC. The Pearl Continental is also the only five-star hotel in Gwadar Port. Despite the station of Pakistani security forces nearby, the terrorists could still infiltrated it and attacked it. Therefore, we should always be aware and prepared and vigilant against possible terrorist attacks.

The Baluchistan Liberation Army, which has been hostile towards CPEC, instantly claimed responsibility for the attack and released the names of four participants and a photo of four gunmen. The BLA launched an attack on the Chinese Consulate General in Karachi on November 23 last year, while they also launched an attack on the convoys of Chinese state-owned enterprise Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC) in the Dalbandin area of Baluchistan Province. It can be said that the Baluchistan Liberation Army has become a major source of terrorist challenge in the construction projects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA) should be identified as one of the ethnic separatist terrorist organizations.  In the past year, there has been an increase in terrorist attacks against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and terrorists have become more and more desperate.

Although they have suffered heavy strikes by Pakistani security forces for many times, their terror attack on China's landmark targets in Pakistan has not diminished, and been launched every once in a while. This time, the brave Pakistani security forces rushed into the spot instantly, and immediately hit the terrorists hard, not only killing all the attackers, but also protecting hotel guests from injury. Pakistani security forces have greatly improved their rapid response capability, emergency response capability, precision strike capability and evacuation transfer capability. The rapid action of the security forces also gives Chinese citizens in Pakistan a sense of security, and the ability of the Pakistani security forces to fight terrorism is quite reassuring.

While we highly praised the Pakistani security forces, we also eagerly hope that all parties concerned will be able to crack down on more terrorist attempts by the Baluchistan Liberation Army, to acquire more precise intelligence on terrorist attacks, to provide us with warning information on targeted anti-terrorism as early as possible, and to nip the beginning of terrorist attacks in the bud as far as possible. Besides quick response, all parties should be more effective in combating and harnessing the Baluchistan Liberation Army, so that people have no worries about the security situation in Pakistan. At the same time, it is expected that Chinese citizens in Pakistan should not only know which provinces in Pakistan are at risk of terrorist attacks, but also which areas in the region you are living in are at risk of terrorist attacks. Whether you are  on business trips, traveling, or working and living at the the project camp, they will always put safety precautions in the first place and  stay vigilant and keep safe. Although the security situation in Pakistan has improved, the threat of terrorism cannot be taken lightly.

Zhou Rong is Senior Fellow of Chongyang Institute for Finance Studies, Renmin University of China.

Key Words: Pakistan   CPEC   security   Zhou Rong  

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