Home Global Village Triple attack rocks Baluchistan as hybrid war against CPEC heats up

Triple attack rocks Baluchistan as hybrid war against CPEC heats up

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Unidentified men threw a grenade into a laborers’ hostel in Gwadar wounding 26 of them, police said on Friday, in an attack likely to raise concern about security for the Pakistani section of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, one of the three attacks, on Thursday in the gas-rich southwestern province of Baluchistan, a key section of the plan for energy and transport links connecting western China with the Middle East and Europe.

Pakistani officials familiar with the situation on ground had long argued that BLF and other groups had foreign support and direction from India and some countries in middle east. In recent years, more and more evidence has piled up to support this contention. 

Men on a motorcycle hurled a grenade near a mobile market at Safar Khan Chowk in Mastung, injuring 15 people, according to Police Inspector Abdul Quddus. The injured have been shifted to District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital Mastung. Nature of attack, by unknown men against targets not related to them, fits into the pattern of attacks being orchestrated to spread fear and chaos.

Balochistan in the eyes of India is the Achilles heel of the CPEC project as well as Pakistan. There is a stark need for a determined effort by the Pakistani state to stamp out such elements and their foreign backers

The third most lethal attack took place in Panjgur. Official sources said that unidentified people opened fire on a convoy of Panjgur Rifle, a wing of Frontier Corps, when it was passing through Gichak area, leaving one soldier dead and four others injured. An FC major is among the injured.

Read more: Naval sailors attacked in Baluchistan: another attempt to slow down CPEC?

While no group has taken responsibility, suspicions are falling on sub-nationalist terrorists fighting in the province against the government. The attack on the laborers is the most likely perpetrated by terror groups like the Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF). The BLF has been responsible for similar atrocities like the cold-blooded murder of 20 Sindhi laborers in Turbat on 12 April 2015. Pakistani officials familiar with the situation on ground had long argued that BLF and other groups had foreign support and direction from India and some countries in middle east. In recent years, more and more evidence has piled up to support this contention.

The BLF has been active in 2017 targeting laborers related to the CPEC project, with 5 laborers killed in April and ten killed in May. The sub-nationalist terror groups routinely target soft targets like civilians and trains, however, this new focus points to two new factors. One is the adverse fortunes of sub-nationalist terrorists and CPEC.

The second factor of CPEC has led potential patrons to reach out to these terror groups in order to achieve their geopolitical interests. While Iran uses the BLF to counter anti Iranian groups, other states use them in order to subvert the CPEC project

In recent months, the sub-nationalist thought and power have taken a beating with mass surrenders, infighting, captures and killings of terrorists. The BLF itself has been driven into Iran where according to security officials; the Iranian establishment has provided safe havens, materials, and training in order to take out anti-Iran elements in Pakistan’s Balochistan. Their adverse fortunes have compelled them to seek patrons.

Read more: When and why terror groups synchronize or coordinate violent acts: Learning…

The second factor of CPEC has led potential patrons to reach out to these terror groups in order to achieve their geopolitical interests. While Iran uses the BLF to counter anti-Iranian groups, other states use them in order to subvert the CPEC project. The foremost among them is India, the arch-enemy of Pakistan. The Indian government has been lately vocal in espousing the cause of these sub-nationalist groups and has been discovered funding them the world over.

The third most lethal attack took place in Panjgur. Official sources said that unidentified people opened fire on a convoy of Panjgur Rifle, a wing of Frontier Corps, when it was passing through Gichak area

On March 3, 2016, a serving Indian officer named Kulbhushan Yadav was arrested by Pakistani authorities inside Pakistani territory. Through him, Pakistan was able to smash a network of separatists who had been working on splitting Balochistan away through violent and non-violent means.

Security officials have said that militants trying to disrupt construction of the Chinese economic corridor through Pakistan have killed more than 50 Pakistani workers since 2014. Balochistan in the eyes of India is the Achilles heel of the CPEC project as well as Pakistan. There is a stark need for a determined effort by the Pakistani state to stamp out such elements and their foreign backers.


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