Pakistan’s Gwadar port under attack, Baloch separatist group takes responsibility

Unidentified gunmen opened fire at Pakistan’s Gwadar port authority complex in the restive Balochistan province on Wednesday, according to local media reports. The Balochistan Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to reports, the attackers carried out blasts before the firing took place between them and security officials.

According to Geo News, eight attackers were killed in retaliatory firing by security forces.

The Gwadar port is a part of the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). China has invested heavily under its Belt and Road Initiative in mineral-rich Balochistan, including developing Gwadar, despite a decades-long separatist insurgency in the area.

The Baluchistan province, despite being rich in natural resources like natural gas, coal, and minerals, remains Pakistan’s most deprived region, with low population density, insufficient water, and human resources, and very poor basic education.

The locals view the development of Gwadar as an exploitation of their resources, fearing marginalisation and displacement without equitable benefits. This sentiment has fostered a breeding ground for various ethnic-separatist and radical religious terrorist organisations, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Lashkar e-Jhangvi, Daesh, and the Balochistan Liberation Front.

These groups have actively sought to disrupt the CPEC project, posing a significant internal security threat through direct attacks on infrastructure projects and foreign investors, notably targeting Chinese nationals and workers involved in the development of Gwadar.

Published On:

Mar 20, 2024

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