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Recent attacks in Balochistan targetted at signalling to China that Pakistan unsafe for foreign investment: Report

ANI | Updated: Feb 09, 2022 17:41 IST


Islamabad [Pakistan], February 9 (ANI): When Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was busy in Beijing last week attempting to convince the Communist regime that his country was safe for Chinese investment, the Baloch Liberation Army had ramped up attacks against Pakistan's forces in the province, sending a clear message to Islamabad and the world on how unsafe the region is, according to a media report.
The attack the biggest in years by the Balochistan Liberation Army, an Afghan-based militant group seeking self-determination for the Baloch people and separation of Balochistan province from Pakistan was deliberately timed to coincide with Imran Khan's visit to China, reported Asia Times.
The BLA is opposed to Chinese investment including at the port of Gwadar, which it sees as in league with the Pakistan army in colonizing and exploiting the region's rich mineral and energy resources.
The BLA's attacks on the army camps last week were sophisticated and complex, Asia Times quoted Mansur Khan Mahsud, executive director of the Islamabad-based FATA Research Centre (FRC), an independent think tank, as saying.
Stressing that the BLA's attacks last week point that the group's military capabilities have increased, Mahsud said that due to the improved capabilities security forces took more than 50 hours to clear the camps.

"The attacks certainly sent a message to China and Pakistan at a time when the Pakistani prime minister was on a four-day official visit to China. The BLA sent a clear warning to both to leave Balochistan and stop CPEC projects in the province," Mansur said.
The timing of the attacks deliberately coincided with Khan's visit to China and aimed to embarrass his government while he tried to convince Beijing that terror threats had been contained or curbed, said Mushahid Hussain Syed, chairman of the Pakistan Senate Committee on Defense.
Syed further stated that the scale, size and sophistication of these attacks is worrying for the Pakistani policymakers. BLA's increased ability to sustain fighting pitched battels discredit the official claim of the victory over terrorism, said Mushahid. ()
In the biggest Baloch insurgent attack in recent years, the BLA last week claimed to have killed over 100 Pakistan soldiers and officers in two separate attacks on Frontier Corps bases in Balochistan's Panjgur and Noshki districts that started on February 2, symbolically coinciding with Khan's trip to Beijing to meet top Chinese officials including President Xi Jinping, according to Asia Times.
The army disputed the BLA's death count, saying that only nine of their soldiers were killed in the twin simultaneous attacks in Pakistan-Iran border areas. The army claimed to have killed 20 militants in counterattacks. The army said it believed the attacks were likely orchestrated from Afghanistan and India, without elaborating, reported Asia Times. (ANI)

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