Against the backdrop of rising de-escalations between the United States and China, armed men stormed a luxury hotel in Gwadar, located in southern Pakistan’s southern Pakistan, on Saturday, May 11, where there is a deep-water port built by China, Balochistan provincial authorities said.
Probably wearing explosive vests, about four armed men entered the luxury hotel in Pearl Continental and opened fire. The majority of clients have been evacuated and transferred to a secure location, said the Minister of Interior of Ziaullah Langu province.
However, a local authority reports that the clashes resulted in casualties and that several Chinese nationals were trapped in the hotel, which often hosts foreign delegations, businessmen and tourists visiting the port of Gwadar.
The attack, which killed a security force and three paramilitaries, was claimed by the separatists of the Balochistan Liberation Army. Shortly afterwards, the Pakistani army announced a state of emergency in all the country’s major cities following the infiltration of a dozen terrorists into the capital, Islamabad. This is an army that says it also wants to target Iran. Since Imran Khan came to power, the Pakistani army has tended to move away from the United States to China and Russia.
Through the spokesman of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran condemned the terrorist attack as “inhuman”, stating that the Islamic Republic fully supports the Pakistani government in its fight against terrorism. It should be recalled that, as part of the fight against terrorism, the two countries had begun to close their 950 km long common border. Islamabad had also authorized the deployment of Iranian forces on its territory, if the need arises to conduct joint operations against terrorists.
Considered, despite its hydrocarbon and mineral deposits, to be the most unstable and poorest of Pakistan’s four provinces, Balochistan is a crucial component of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) aimed at linking the western Chinese province of Xinjiang to the port of Gwadar, thereby providing direct access to the Arabian Sea for Chinese products.
The assault occurred in the midst of a trade war between Washington and Beijing and comes after a series of terrorist attacks that shook Sri Lanka on April 21. As part of the global project for the new silk road, Sri Lanka is another favourite destination for Chinese investment. Led by the Chinese state-owned Communications Construction Company (CCCC) for a total cost of $1.4 billion, “Port City” is a real estate and port complex near the capital Colombo, covering 2.7 km2 of land reclaimed from the sea. Two thirds will be under Chinese control for 99 years, which is far from pleasing in the United States.