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Worried China dials Pak PM after Karachi is rocked by another bomb blast

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. China has conveyed to Pakistan its concerns about the security of its citizens with the Chinese Prime Minister expressing shock and outrage at the recent attacks (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@OXVisionaryFarm)

Pakistan’s business hub Karachi continues to be rocked by bomb blasts. On Monday, one person killed and 11 injured when a crude bomb exploded near Iqbal Market and New Memon Mosque in Karachi's Kharadar area. 

According to Karachi police, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was planted in a motorcycle to target a police vehicle.

This blast was “similar” to the earlier explosion, which took place last week. On May 12, one person was killed while 13 others injured in the mega-city’s Saddar area. The explosion took place in the Murshid Bazaar and the target was a vehicle of the Pakistani coast guard. The Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

The fresh wave of attacks follows a pivotal strike last month, when a female suicide bomber of the banned pro-independence Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), killed three Chinese teachers outside the Karachi university.

The BLA had then warned China to immediately halt what it called its “exploitation projects” under CPEC in Pakistan. Otherwise, the group warned, hundreds of its “highly-trained male and female members” are ready to carry out “harsher” attacks in future.

With a military crackdown on Balochistan rebels, Pakistani watchers believe the BLA is likely to refocus its energies on Karachi and make greater use of female fighters who can operate without attracting suspicion. Analysts say that the suicide attack by .,, Baloch may become a turning point in denting China’s will to stay the course in advancing the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through Balochistan.

Fearing suicide bombings China has recalled its teachers from Pakistan and advised all others to be careful. 

Though Pakistan has been assuring its “iron brother” that it has enhanced security for projects under CPEC, the Chinese nevertheless question the efficacy of Pakistan’s security cover. The Chinese premier Li Keqiang apparently conveyed these concerns to his Pakistani counterpart, Shehbaz Sharf on Monday. 

“We hope that Pakistan will bring the perpetrators to justice as soon as possible, make every effort to deal with the aftermath, comfort the bereaved families and the injured, and comprehensively strengthen security measures for Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan to ensure that tragedies like this will not happen again”, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying.   

During the conversation, Li said that China is shocked and outraged by intensified attacks on its citizen and projects in Pakistan, 

China has also decided to post a security officer in the Chinese embassy in Pakistan, to oversee security of Chinese nationals in Pakistan. 

Also Read : After suicide bombing, China warns Pakistan—eliminate root causes to save CPE