Caught in the Crossfire: Pakistani separatists claim Chinese victims
By Li Fangfang  ·  2022-04-28  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

A suicide bomber targeting a passenger van belonging to the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi in Pakistan has killed three Chinese teachers and their Pakistani driver. Soon after the explosion, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), a separatist group widely recognized as a terrorist organization, claimed responsibility for the attack.  

China strongly condemns the terrorist attack, the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan said in a statement.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin described the incident as a premeditated suicide terrorist attack against Chinese citizens, at a regular news briefing on April 27.

The terrorists directly targeted teachers, the inheritors of human civilization and promoters of cultural exchanges, making the attack a very vile and a heinous act, said Wang, adding that the Chinese side expresses strong condemnation and indignation at it.

"Chinese language teachers were a soft and easy target and the purpose is to undermine Pakistan-China friendship," Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Pakistani Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Beijing Review.

Zoon Ahmed Khan, Pakistani research fellow at the Center for China & Globalization, agreed that the group’s choice to target teachers could eliminate cultural and people-to-people ties between the two nations.

"This was so tragic because teachers are the softest, the soul of that cooperation that we share," Khan told Beijing Review. "Many Pakistanis have never been to China, but they are fluent in Chinese. They love the culture. I think the target has been that bond between people. An outcome of this attack potentially could be that teachers no longer want to come to Pakistan."

"Anti-Pakistan terror outfits regrouping in Balochistan hit Chinese personnel and projects this time, but their ultimate targets are Pakistani ones. Since China leads foreign countries that are helping Pakistan, China got caught in the crossfire," Sayed said, adding that this pattern of attacks extends throughout many regions of Pakistan, with attacks occurring in Lahore, Quetta, Peshawer, Dasu and Karachi.

The BLA has carried out attacks against the Pakistan armed forces, civilians and foreign nationals for more than a decade. It was listed as a terrorist organization by Pakistan and the United Kingdom in 2006, and by the United States and the European Union in 2019.

"Still, there are many countries that have not listed the BLA as a terrorist organization, providing it with growing space," counter-terror expert Wang Jiang told Beijing Review, while also calling for the international community to take it more seriously.

"The influence of the U.S. retreat from Afghanistan still lingers on in South Asia. Attacks have significantly increased since last year in Pakistan, including those targeting Chinese people," Zhu Yongbiao, a professor with the Lanzhou University's Research Center for the Belt and Road, told Global Times.

"They were our guests here. I wish we had taken more care of them, provided them tighter security," said Mustajab Hussain, a student of the Confucius Institute at the University of Karachi.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang noted that Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad on the evening of April 26 to express his condolences, stressing that the Pakistani government is using all its resources to conduct an in-depth probe into the incident, and will spare no effort to hunt down the perpetrators.

Wang added that China firmly supports Pakistan's anti-terrorism efforts and will work with Pakistan to hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

Copyedited by G.P. Wilson

Comments to

China Focus
Special Reports
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise with Us
Partners:   |   China Today   |   China Pictorial   |   People's Daily Online   |   Women of China   |   Xinhua News Agency   |   China Daily
CGTN   |   China Tibet Online   |   China Radio International   |   Global Times   |   Qiushi Journal
Copyright Beijing Review All rights reserved 京ICP备08005356号 京公网安备110102005860