According to reports, the increasing frequency of assaults in Pakistan targeting Chinese nationals and infrastructure projects has prompted major worries about the safety and stability of foreign investment. As these attacks continue, the consequences affect not just bilateral ties with China but also the larger environment of recruiting and maintaining foreign investment.
If similar incidents persist, potential investors may lose faith in the government’s capacity to ensure the safety of their workers and assets. This apprehension hinders new investments and impedes efforts to diversify the economy.
Ahsan Iqbal, former planning, development, and reform minister of Pakistan said, “The attacks on Chinese investment are a major setback for CPEC. They have created an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty, which is not conducive to investment.”
Moreover, the increase in such attacks which targets Chinese nationals and infrastructure projects has created tensions about the safety and stability of foreign investment. The increase in attacks will affect bilateral ties with China as well as the larger environment of recruiting and maintaining foreign invesment, according to reports.
As China looks forward to build a road and rail network connecting its Xinjiang province to the Arabian Sea in Balochistan, most of the violence is considered as a response to Chinese investments in the region.
However, Baloch separatists, the mastermind of these assaults, think that China is pillaging Balochistan’s resources and not providing the province with its share of the advantages of CPEC.
Baloch separatist insurgents have fought for decades for a bigger part of their province’s natural riches, focusing on natural gas projects, infrastructure, and security forces. Whereas, separatists have continuosly targeted Chinese nationals and economic and financial interests in Balochistan, place where Beijing is involved in lucrative mining and energy projects.
Earlier in April 2021, four people were killed in a sucide bomb explosion at a luxury hotel hosting the Chinese envoy in Quetta. The ambassador was unharmed by the incident, which the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for.
Later in 2022, three Chinese nationals died in another suicide bomb explosion who taught at a Confucius Institute in Karachi.
On last Sunday, the attack on the convoy of Chinese engineers occurred near the Gwadar police station in Balochistan when the convoy carrying 23 Chinese engineers was passing the police station and an IED blast took place.
The Chinese embassy “strongly” condemned the terror attack on the convoy carrying 23 Chinese engineers in Balochistan and warned Pakistan to take effective measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again.
China further demanded a thorough investigation into the attack and severely punish the perpetrators.