Balochistan: Armed men target equipment of firm involved in China-linked Gwadar project

at 8:48 pm
Vehicles of a company involved in Gwadar port project burnt by armed men today in Balochistan

Quetta: Suspected Baloch freedom fighters today targeted the equipment of a construction company in Gwadar in Pakistan-occupied Balochistan where the Port is being redeveloped by China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

A group of armed men seized a number of vehicles, including loaders and dumpers, besides bulldozers of the construction company in Nilent area of Gwadar and set those ablaze.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, armed Baloch groups, like Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), have earlier been issuing warnings against exploitation of resources of Balochistan by Pakistan and its collaborator China.

To demonstrate that they mean business, the Baloch armed groups have carried out a number of attacks on Pakistani and Chinese companies and their assets.

The last major attack was carried out by BLA on August 14 last year, when its 2 suicide attackers targeted a highly-protected convoy of Chinese engineers in Gwadar port city, killing 4 of them along with 9 Pakistani military men escorting them.

After that attack, the BLA issued a 90-day ultimatum to China to shut down its projects in Balochistan and leave the territory, failing which its nationals and assets would face serial attacks.

BLA, which is fighting for liberation of Balochistan from Pakistani occupation, bluntly made it clear to China that it will not allow exploitation of the resources of the Baloch land.

“China has not only provided strategic and defensive support to Pakistani state to strengthen its occupation of Balochistan, but it has also been criminally involved in exploitation of Baloch resources through likes of Saindak and Gwadar port projects,” BLA had said in a statement after that attack.

“We have warned China multiple times to stop its exploitation of Balochistan, and would like to remind it again that any foreign investment in Balochistan is possible only after achieving consent of Baloch people,” said the statement issued by BLA spokesman Jeeyand Baloch.

“If China fails to shut its projects and withdraw from Balochistan in next 90 days, then Baloch Liberation Army will further increase the number and intensity of its attacks against China,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, various Baloch groups are up in arms and strongly opposing Pakistan’s project to fence the Gwadar city and effectively divide the territory of occupied Balochistan.

As part of the protest, Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC), led by Mahrang Baloch, had planned a conference at Islamabad Press Club today to deliberate on the Gwadar Fencing project.

It had invited journalists, students and other panelists to speak out on this serious issue but as has been the norm, Pakistani authorities thwarted the conference by locking the gates of the Press Club.

In videos which have gone viral on social media, Mahrang is seen arguing with some officials and questioning why and on whose orders was the Islamabad Press Club locked out, with even its President and other office-bearers inside the premises.