Globalisation of terror

Double jeopardy for Chinese in Pakistan

After having been subjected to repeated acts of  aggression, foreign control, and annexations of its territory, China has become  highly sensitive to separatist movements to the extent of being obsessive. Beijing  has tried hard to crush the East Turkestan Independence  Movement (ETIM) and  sought the help of neigbouring countries  to  ensure that  Chinese separatists do not operate from their territory.    Pakistan took special measures to take out ETIM activists that once operated  from tribal areas. It also handed over several wanted separatists to China.

 

With terrorism becoming a global phenomenon hundreds of  ETIM activists managed to establish themselves in insurgency torn countries like Syria and Iraq. Some  continued propaganda from abroad in support of the separation of  the Chinese province of Sinkiang. Still others indulged in terrorist attacks to publicise their case or as acts of revenge.   In 2015 ETIM  separatists were accused of conducting the deadly bombing of Bangkok’s Erawan Shrine. In 2016 a suicide bomber  rammed his car into the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, injuring at least three employees. The driver of the car was  cited by Kyrgyz authorities as a member of the ETIM.

 

Fears expressed by the Chinese embassy of a possible attack on  ambassador Yao Jing are apparently based on solid intelligence which names a terrorist sent by the ETIM for the attack who has already entered Pakistan.  Besides requesting more security for the envoy the memo also seeks the terrorist’s arrest.  The Chinese in Pakistan face threats from a number of sources besides the ETIM. There are countries unhappy over the CPEC, the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).  The close relations between Pakistan and China also stand in the way of the fulfillment of their strategic goals. These elements can go to any extent in  pursuit of their agenda. There is therefore a dire need to provide fool proof security to the new Chinese envoy who being  an expert in the affairs of the region is a great asset for both Pakistan and China.



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