Pakistani security guards stand next to burnt-out cars in front of the Chinese consulate after an attack in Karachi on November 23.  At least two police were killed when three gunmen tried to storm the consulate. All were killed by guards. Photo: AFP / Asif Hassan
Pakistani security guards stand next to burnt-out cars in front of the Chinese consulate after an attack in Karachi on November 23. At least two police were killed when three gunmen tried to storm the consulate. All were killed by guards. Photo: AFP / Asif Hassan

Pakistan proved its friendship with China when two policemen lost their lives while protecting the Chinese Consulate in Karachi from a terrorist attack on Friday. Three men attacked the consulate at around 9:15am and tried to enter the building. But brave and vigilant security personnel repulsed the attack.

The three terrorists were shot dead and no one was able to enter the consulate. All of its Chinese staff members were safe and sound.

The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad issued a statement on the unfortunate incident and condemned the act of terrorism. It also praised the bravery of Pakistani security forces and expressed satisfaction that Pakistan had taken measures to protect the Chinese nationals in the consulate.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi telephoned his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi regarding the terrorist attack. He apprised Wang of the details of the attack and highlighted the prompt action of Pakistani law-enforcement officials.

Qureshi also informed Foreign Minister Wang about the deaths of the two security officials who had helped in the quick resolution of the crisis. He further assured Wang that a thorough investigation would be carried out to apprehend the perpetrators, their financiers, planners and facilitators.

Wang strongly condemned the terrorist attack and said he appreciated the quick, prompt and effective action of Pakistan security and law-enforcement forces, two of whom sacrificed their lives to protect the Chinese diplomatic mission. He said the attack was an attempt to impact Sino-Pakistani relations and to harm the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) mega-project.

He stressed that Pakistan-China brotherhood was clad in iron and such cowardly attacks could not affect it.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has also expressed his serious concerns and ordered an immediate and full investigation of the unfortunate incident. He also expressed his commitment to further strengthening the deep-rooted friendship with China and continuation of the CPEC project on a fast track.

The hero of the Karachi counter-terror operation was a female assistant superintendent of police, Suhai Aziz Talpur. She rushed to the site immediately after being informed of the incident and led the operation in a highly professional manner and got the situation under control quickly.

The incident was condemned by various leaders in Pakistan as well as at the international level. People on social media joined in the condemnation. In China, people are collecting donations to help the families of the two policemen who died while protecting Chinese nationals.

The Balochistan Liberation Army, a notorious terrorist outfit, has claimed responsibility. The BLA has a track record of terrorism and is banned in Pakistan.

With the rise of China as a global power, the US wants to limit China’s further development and influence. The BRI is a mega initiative of China for promoting connectivity, development of Infrastructure, trade, and interaction among nations throughout the world.

China is opening its market to the rest of the world and promoting globalization, while the US is reverting to protectionism. Developing countries have found the Chinese approach through the BRI interesting and beneficial for their own development.

To date around 100 countries and international organizations, including the United Nations, have recognized BRI initiatives. With this rapidly growing recognition, Chinese influence has found momentum globally and the country has emerged as a global political power. The US could not digest this and took it as a threat and now is trying to curtail China. The US is also using other nations to counter China. India is a US “Major Defense Partner” (MDP) and is working closely with the US to counter China.

CPEC, being the flagship project under the BRI, is also facing resistance from the US and its allies, especially India.

Under the current economic and political situation of Pakistan, it is easy to identify disgruntled people to train, brainwash and finance for terrorist activities. Pakistan’s constitution provides protection of freedom of expression and some people misuse it, and spread hate, extremism and intolerance.

The message to all enemies of Pakistan is that its is fully committed to taking all necessary measures to provide robust security to all Chinese nationals in Pakistan and on CPEC projects. Our brave security forces are strong and vigilant and ready to tackle any new challenges. China and Pakistan will continue to cooperate to thwart the designs of hostile forces against their time-tested friendship.

Zamir Awan

Professor Zamir Ahmed Awan is a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Chinese Studies Center of Excellence, Islamabad, Pakistan. Posted to the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing as science counselor (technical affairs) from 2010-16, he was responsible for promoting cooperation between Pakistan and China in science, technology, and higher education.

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