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Pakistan: Balochistan attack

Thursday 9 September 2021, by siawi3


Balochistan attack


Published September 7, 2021 - Updated about 15 hours ago

WITH the regional security situation extremely fluid in Pakistan’s immediate neighbourhood, particularly next door in Afghanistan, the state must keep a keen eye on subversive elements that may try and take advantage of the situation and destabilise the environment in the country. The martyrdom of at least four Frontier Corps men in a suicide attack on Sunday on the Quetta-Mastung Road on the outskirts of Quetta comes as a reminder that the country cannot afford to let down its guard even for a moment.

The banned TTP has claimed responsibility for the act of terrorism. Over the past few months, there has been an uptick in militant activity. Last month, at least two children were killed when militants struck a motorcade carrying Chinese nationals in Gwadar’s East-Bay Expressway area while Chinese individuals have also been targeted in Karachi. These incidents are believed to have been carried out by outlawed Baloch separatists. Moreover July’s Dasu incident, in which a number of Chinese nationals were killed, highlighted the need for stricter security measures to protect Beijing’s nationals working in Pakistan.

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

While Pakistan can do little to control security threats abroad, the security apparatus must do all possible to prevent militant cells from carrying out their activities here. As noted above, Afghanistan is an area of particular concern. Though this state does not have adverse relations with the Afghan Taliban — the de facto rulers of Kabul — Afghanistan lacks an internationally recognised government, while groups such as the self-styled Islamic State’s Khorasan chapter, the TTP as well as Baloch insurgents may still be present on Afghan soil. Pakistan must therefore press the Afghan Taliban to take action against these security threats, while efforts must be stepped up to ensure there is no infiltration into Pakistan by hostile actors.

Intelligence-based operations also need to be revved up locally, especially in areas like Balochistan and erstwhile Fata, where the security situation has been particularly fragile in the past. Moreover, some regional states that do not want to see peace in Pakistan may also use the situation in Afghanistan to destabilise this country. These efforts must be countered. Lastly, the quicker an inclusive government is formed in Afghanistan, the better not only for that country, but the whole region. The Taliban as well as their Afghan adversaries need to work towards this goal, to ensure a new civil war is not used by militant groups to regroup and spread havoc across the region.



4 martyred, 20 injured in suicide attack targeting FC checkpost on Quetta’s Mastung Road

Ghalib Nihad

Published September 5, 2021 - Updated 2 days ago

Four people were martyred and 20 injured on Sunday in a suicide attack near a Frontier Corps (FC) checkpost on Mastung Road in Quetta, Deputy Inspector General of Quetta police Azhar Akram confirmed.

He said that 18 of the injured were security officials while two were bystanders, adding that the number of casualties could rise.

A suicide bomber on a motorcycle packed with six kilogrammes of explosives rammed one of the vehicles in an FC convoy, Akram was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack, saying in a tweet: “My condolences go to the families of the martyrs & prayers for the recovery of the injured. Salute our security forces & their sacrifices to keep us safe by thwarting foreign-backed terrorists’ designs.”

Opposition leader and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif said he was “grieved to learn about the martyrdom of 3 FC personnel” in the attack.

“I pay my homage to our armed forces for their sacrifices in defending the motherland. My heartfelt condolences go to bereaved families & prayers for early recovery of the injured,” he tweeted.

Condemning the attack and offering condolences to the families of those martyred, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said the “brave security forces continue to thwart the designs of terrorists [especially] the RAW- (Indian intelligence agency) funded TTP.”

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Ziaullah Langove too strongly condemned the attack and asked authorities to submit a report in this regard.

“Security forces have given countless sacrifices in the war against terrorism,” he said, adding that the war would continue until total peace was achieved.

“The whole nation is indebted to the martyrs. We are fighting the terrorists with our full strength and will continue to do so. These violent attacks will not lower the morale of the forces,” he stressed.

The attack comes less than two weeks after three Levies personnel were martyred and as many injured when their vehicle hit a landmine in the province’s Ziarat district.

Earlier that week, a Pakistan Army captain was martyred and two soldiers injured when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by terrorists in the Gichik area.

There has been an uptick in violence in the province, with several incidents of terrorism reported this year, targeting both civilians as well as security forces.



2 children killed in suicide attack on vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in Gwadar

Ghalib Nihad

Published August 20, 2021

The blast took place in Baloch Ward near Gwadar’s Eastbay Expressway. — File photo

At least two children were killed in a “suicide attack” targeting a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in Balochistan’s Gwadar district on Friday, the provincial government’s spokesperson said.

Three people, including the car’s driver, were also injured when a suicide bomber blew himself near the vehicle.

“Strongly condemn suicide attack on Chinese nationals’ vehicle in Gwadar,” Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani tweeted.

He said two children playing nearby had died in the explosion, while one Chinese national sustained minor injuries.

The Gwadar police control room earlier said three children had been injured in the incident. The injured were shifted to GDA Hospital in Gwadar.

The blast took place shortly after 7pm in Baloch Ward near Gwadar’s Eastbay Expressway.

Shahwani said police and Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) teams were at the crime scene, and an investigation into the incident had been launched. He lamented that “innocent children” had died in the attack.

In a tweet, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the “attack in [Gwadar] is just another expression of [the] game of sabotage against the economic vision of great leadership of China and Pakistan; our enemy cannot undermine our resolve.”

He added that the government “will spare no effort to bring the culprits to justice”.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a motorcycle bomb blast took place at Quetta’s Hali Road roundabout, near Balo­chistan Assembly and the High Court, leaving two policemen martyred and 21 others, including 12 policemen, injured.

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.