Balochistan blast raises security alarm for CPEC: Chinese media
The recent bomb attack in Pakistan’s troubled Balochistan province, a day ahead of the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from Gwadar port, has raised a “security alarm” for the $46-billion project, state-run Chinese media said on Tuesday.
“With the departure of a Chinese ship from the renovated port of Gwadar in Balochistan Province, Pakistan on Sunday, the long-awaited CPEC – a mega cooperation project, has been realised, after having been agreed upon in 2013,” an oped article in the official daily Global Times read.
This is the first time the official Chinese media has made a reference to the formal launch of the CPEC, which was kept under wraps until its inaugurated at ceremony by Pakistani and Chinese officials at the Gwadar port. Significantly, the daily carried three articles on the subject on Tuesday – one on security concerns over the CPEC and two criticising India’s reservations in taking part in China’s Silk Road projects, in which CPEC is a part.
Ahead of the CPEC’s launch, a bomb blast in another part of Balochistan killed at least 52 people and wounded 106 at a sufi shrine. The attack was later claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.
“This has sent a security alarm to the ongoing CPEC project. Balochistan, the largest and most impoverished province of Pakistan, is labelled the ‘troubled heart’ of the CPEC by some media, as modern geopolitics has provided new incentives to the long-standing violence there,” the article said.
Last month, suicide attackers targeted a police training school in which 61 people were killed over 165 others injured. Pakistani officials have blamed the attack on Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni terrorist outfit targeting Shias in the country.