Karachi blast: Separatist group warns of more attacks on Chinese | DW News

DW News published this video item, entitled “Karachi blast: Separatist group warns of more attacks on Chinese | DW News” – below is their description.

A separatist group in Pakistan is warning of ‘even harsher’ attacks against Chinese interests in the country. This, after three Chinese language teachers from Confucius Institute and their Pakistani driver were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Karachi. The bomber, who is seen in a CCTV screen grab, is said to be a woman. The first time the separatist Baloch Liberation Army has used one in an attack.

The attack drew sharp responses from both the Chinese government and Pakistan’s prime minister Shebaz Sharif.

Crucial to understanding the attack is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC, a €53 billion infrastructure project that passes through Pakistan’s largest province, Balochistan. It was announced in 2015. The main aim is to connect Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea to China’s western Xinjiang region. All of this itself is a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. For Pakistan, CPEC is a major component to boost national economic growth.

The Baloch separatists accuse Islamabad of exploiting their region’s natural resources and call the Chinese activities an ‘imperialist project’.

Balochis see themselves as a separate ethnic group, forced to become a part of Pakistan when it was established as a country in 1947. Poor economic and social development has also sparked resentment. Those grievances have fueled a decades-long insurgency. The Pakistani military have a strong presence in the region, and are seen by many as occupiers. Activists accuse Pakistan’s security forces of torture, and forcibly disappearing thousands of Balochi people.

Recent years have seen a series of attacks on Chinese nationals and interests in Pakistan.

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In This Story: Pakistan

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It has a population exceeding 212.2 million, including the world’s second-largest Muslim population. It has an area of 881,913 square kilometres (340,509 square miles).

Pakistan has a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline along the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by India to the east, Afghanistan to the west, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. It is separated narrowly from Tajikistan by Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor in the northwest, and also shares a maritime border with Oman.

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