Implications of “Operation Zarphazag” – TBP Editorial

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Gwadar has witnessed repeated attacks, targeting China. In May 2019, four assailants from the Majeed Brigade attacked Gwadar’s Pearl Continental Hotel, holding it for over 24 hours. In 2021, vehicles transporting Chinese engineers were targeted. Recently, there was another “fidayeen” assault on the convoy of Chinese engineers by Majeed Brigade members.

Baloch National Liberation Movement-associated armed groups and political parties frequently accuse the Chinese Communist Government of aiding Pakistan in suppressing the Baloch National Liberation War. Pro-liberation entities brand China as Pakistan’s accomplice in exploiting Balochistan and perpetrating Baloch genocide.

Although the Pakistani government asserts Balochistan’s safety for investments, the recurrent attacks on China and its projects challenge this claim. The situation reveals that investing in Balochistan necessitates the approval and intent of the Baloch people.

Following the third attack of Operation Zarphazag, the Baloch Liberation Army warned China that unless it halts its plans and withdraws from Balochistan within ninety days, they would escalate attacks against China. Recent history suggests that if China’s Balochistan plans persist, it will face more vigorous attacks in the future.

Pakistan has struggled to quell the Baloch insurgency for two decades. The Balochistan conflict will persist without addressing its underlying issues, rendering investments unsafe, regardless of Pakistan’s assurances. To ensure the security of Chinese and global investments, direct dialogue with Baloch national forces is imperative.

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