Any forces that target Chinese nationals in attacks will be stricken hardest: Global Times editorial
Published: Apr 27, 2022 01:24 AM
Pakistani investigators gather evidence at the site of an explosion in Karachi, Pakistan, on April 26, 2022. Photo: VCG
Pakistani investigators gather evidence at the site of an explosion in Karachi, Pakistan, on April 26, 2022. Photo: VCG

According to Pakistani media reports on Tuesday, a suspected suicide bombing in Karachi, the country's largest city, killed four people including three Chinese citizens. Karachi police told media outlets that they were concerned of Chinese people being targeted in the explosion. After the explosion, the Balochistan Liberation Army, which is identified as a terrorist organization by many countries, claimed responsibility for the attack and released a photo of a woman, claiming she was the first female suicide bomber of the group.

The Chinese embassy and consulate in Pakistan strongly condemned this terrorist act and asked Pakistan to make every effort to treat the wounded, conduct a thorough investigation of the attack and severely punish the perpetrators. It also asked all levels of relevant Pakistani department to take practical measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens, institutions and projects in Pakistan, and ensure that similar incidents do not happen again.

Was this attack initiated by a single organization or was it supported and manipulated by larger forces behind? We want to say that no matter who the perpetrators are and whom they are targeting, they must be severely punished. The Pakistani side must conduct a comprehensive and detailed investigation and give the Chinese side an explanation.

The China-Pakistan relations are as solid as rocks. The Chinese people call Pakistan its "iron brother." Both Pakistan's government and people also highly value their friendship with China. China-Pakistan practical cooperation has yielded fruitful results. It has brought about many jobs and driven local development. However, some terrorist forces take the sabotage of China-Pakistan cooperation as a means to blackmail and attack the Pakistani government, resulting in occasional attacks on Chinese nationals in the country in recent years.

The separatist terrorist group Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), which claimed responsibility for this incident, has repeatedly threatened to launch attacks on Chinese companies and citizens in Pakistan. The BLA militants attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi in 2018 and staged a suicide attack near the Gwadar Port in August 2021, injuring a Chinese national. It can be said that several serious terrorist attacks against Chinese citizens are linked to this group.

We must point out that Pakistan has strengthened the protection of Chinese nationals in recent years but without addressing the root causes of the problem, there will always be loopholes. This time, the attack targeted the Confucius Institute. "Hard targets" like projects or construction sites that are tightly protected are thought to be difficult to attack. For that reason, the terrorists sought "soft targets" such as schoolteachers. The China-Pakistan anti-terrorism cooperation needs to be further strengthened and resolutely strike related terrorist organization. We shouldn't allow terrorists' evil acts.

It is worth noting that the Pakistani government has publicly said many times that the country's violent terrorist forces and separatist movements have been infiltrated by international third-party forces. We must warn that either in or out of Pakistan, forces targeting Chinese nationals in attacks will be stricken the hardest.

Pakistani Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, strongly condemned Tuesday's terrorist attack calling it a "cowardly act of terrorism" and said that a thorough investigation will be conducted to bring the perpetrators to justice. He also went to the Chinese embassy in Pakistan to express his condolences for the assault on the Chinese nationals. We strongly demand that the Pakistani side make more efforts to protect the safety of Chinese institutions, projects and personnel in Pakistan, and make those organizations understand that those who try to hurt the Chinese will only bring destruction on themselves.