The port city of Gwadar security was the scene of a major terrorist attack last Friday, when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb near Convoy. A of Chinese workers working on the Eastbay Expressway.
A young man who appeared to be in his 20s. was reportedly seen running towards the convoy heading towards the fishermen’s settlement. Plainclothes security personnel tried to stop the man. but he detonated the bomb 20 meters from the caravan.
BLA claimed responsibility
killing three children playing nearby. A Chinese worker suffered minor injuries. The Baloch separatist group BLA claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack. they named the suicide bomber and also published his picture. The BLA also claimed that nine Chinese soldiers killed in the attack. The Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Gwadar denied the claim and. clarified that only one Chinese worker sustained minor injuries. Gwadar security officials believe that the BLA failed. to execute the attack in a planned manner. So the BLA is exaggerating the number of casualties. said a security official on condition of anonymity.
Pakistan Economic Corridor
This incident has reinforced the perception. that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is under attack in Pakistan. The Chinese worried that this is not the first attack against them in Gwadar. Since work on the Gwadar port began in 2002. there have been at least three major attacks. on Chinese projects before last week’s suicide bombing. In May 2004, a vehicle carrying Chinese laborers attacked with a car bomb. Three Chinese engineers died due to this. It was the first attack against China in Baluchistan. and also a major attack by Baloch insurgents. The second attack occurred in May 2017. when Baloch separatists shot dead 10 laborers working on a CPEC project. Although none of the workers killed were Chinese. they targeted because they were working on Chinese-sponsored projects.
The third attack took place in May 2019. when Baloch separatists attacked the Pearl Continental Hotel in Gwadar. Five people died in the attack. Most of them were hotel workers. The Pearl Continental Hotel is where most of the foreign. and domestic investors like to stay during their visit. so the hotel chosen to intimidate and deter investors from coming to Gwadar. In 2019 security was greatly strengthened. and that is why the attack in Gwadar last week came as a surprise to everyone. Last year, the government approved the master plan for Gwadar. Under this plan, Gwadar will become a gun-free city with state-of-the-art Gwadar security . To implement this plan, the government began fencing off the town in December 2020.
Comprehensive security framework
These barbed wire fences separated families. and communities living in Gwadar and thus drew strong criticism from the public. The government rejected the plan to encircle Gwadar. and decided to defend it without laying cables around the city. The government needs a comprehensive security framework in Gwadar. This framework should take into account the concerns. and sensitivities of the local population and not alienate them. By encircling the city of Gwadar, the people alienated and they reacted against it. Any plan to protect Gwadar should not create problems for the local people. In any case, the barbed-wired city does not send. a reassuring message to foreign investors looking to invest here.
Regional shopping center
Gwadar can never become a fully functional. and successful regional shopping center unless it is fully Gwadar security. In order to achieve long-term peace and stability in Gwadar. the broader Balochi conflict associated with the insurgency needs to resolved. If the Baloch insurgency continues to carry out terrorist attacks over the years. this will be enough to keep foreign investors away. Hence, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to initiate dialogue. with Baloch separatists is an encouraging step in this regard.
All efforts to protect Gwadar
Finally, in all the debate surrounding the Gwadar blast. and the future Gwadar security of the city. people often ignore the real victims. the people of Gwadar In future. all efforts to protect Gwadar must be people-centric because without the support of the local people. the Gwadar project can never reach its potential.
In the changing global arena of international politics. increasing attention has directed to the oceans since the end of the Cold War. The Indian Ocean and its region have attracted much attention in recent years. Due to the presence of strategic Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs). and barriers the Indian Ocean is of significant importance in the conduct of international politics.
Global economic power
The level of competition in the sector has increased. With the rise of China as a global economic power. America’s hegemony is being called into question. In this sense China’s String of Pearls strategy emerges. with special reference to One Belt, One Road (BRI). The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). is the most powerful part of the Belt-Road Initiative. Most of the attention is due to Gwadar’s geo-strategic location. Linking Gwadar to Xinjiang will give China an alternative route to access markets. in the Middle East and North Africa.. eliminating the Malacca problem. In this regard CPEC requires a comprehensive roadmap for maritime security. that looks at the interaction of the four major navies in the region US, PLA Navy, Pakistan and Indian Navy.
Also read: Gwadar today