May 12, 2022

China asks Pakistan for urgent action after Karachi University explosion

New Delhi, First published 27 April 2022, 12:51 PM IST

After a bomb blast near the University of Karachi was reported on Tuesday, China urged Pakistan to act urgently against terrorist attacks on Chinese projects and personnel. Also, to tackle the “root causes” of the problem on Wednesday. Beijing’s statement comes just a day after three Chinese nationalists were killed in an attack at the University of Karachi. The Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the explosion by a female suicide bomber, which occurred near the university’s Chinese language center.

The editorial in the state-run Global Times said that China strongly demands that the Pakistani side make efforts to protect Chinese institutions, projects and personnel in the country and make it clear to these organizations that those who strive to hurt the Chinese will only bring destruction upon themselves.

The Global Times further claims that the BLA had threatened Chinese businesses and citizens.

In Pakistan, the BLA is a much more active separatist group and claims independence, citing the unequal exploitation of natural resources; Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province geographically, home to the largest deposit of natural gas, gold and other reserves in the country.

According to Reuters, the Chinese presence in the province has drawn the attention of the BLA. Chinese projects in the region include the port of Gwadar, a key to transporting oil across the Arabian Sea. Last year, Chinese engineers were attacked during an operation, the BLA claimed.

The BLA claimed responsibility for the attack on the Chinese nationals according to Reuters. In 2018, the embassy in Karachi was attacked because Beijing failed to heed warnings against entering the region.

The Global Times editorial acknowledged that “Pakistan has strengthened protection…in recent years, but without addressing the root causes…there will always be loopholes”.

Tuesday’s blast was Pakistan’s first major attack on a city since Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister earlier this month. He denounced what he called a “cowardly act of terrorism”.

China has warned its citizens not to go out unless necessary.

Read also: At least 4 dead and several injured in the explosion at the University of Karachi

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Last updated April 27, 2022 12:51 PM IST