Posts Tagged ‘Quetta’

Pakistan Chief Justice Says Killing of Ethnic Minority Hazara “Tantamount to Genocide”

May 11, 2018

Advocate Iftikhar Ali, who was representing the Hazara community, lamented that targeted killings of the ethnic minority have been going on for 20 years, yet not a single arrest has been made.

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Hazara people

 

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday said that the Hazara killings in Balochistan are tantamount to genocide, which is why the court took a suo motu notice of the targeted attacks.

A two-member Supreme Court (SC) bench, comprising Justice Nisar and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, was hearing a suo motu case regarding the targeted killing of the Hazara community in Quetta. The CJP had taken a suo motu notice after the Hazara community staged a protest against the recent increase in targeted attacks that killed at least five people within a month.

“In my opinion, this [Hazara killing] is equivalent to genocide,” said Justice Nisar. “We have to protect the lives and property of the [people of the] Hazara community.”

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Hazara community

“We have no words to condemn these unfortunate attacks,” lamented the CJP.

A report on Hazara killings was submitted in court by Quetta Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Abdur Razzaq Cheema on the CJP’s orders. According to the report, 399 Shia, 36 Sunni and 29 settlers from the Hazara community have been killed in targeted attacks during the past six years.

Read: Hazara massacre

In the past four months, nine people from the Hazara community have been murdered, the report stated. It added that 28 security officials have been killed so far in 2018. However, the situation has improved a lot now, Cheema claimed.

Advocate Iftikhar Ali, who was representing the Hazara community, lamented that targeted killings of the ethnic minority have been going on for 20 years, yet not a single arrest has been made.

“Our lives and property are being endangered,” he said. “Our people had to leave for Australia [to escape the situation].”

Ali also alleged that the police had withdrawn security from their community elders as well. The accusation was denied by Cheema.

The DIG told the court that 28 security officials had been killed in 2018 alone. At this point, the CJ asked Cheema if there was a connection between the killing of the Hazaras and security officials.

“We have worked very hard due to which the number of casualties has decreased,” Cheema responded and added that the Counter-Terrorism Department had arrested terrorists involved in cases of kidnapping for ransom.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1407011/hazara-killings-tantamount-to-genocide-says-chief-justice

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Pakistan’s genocide zones: Where rule of law fears to go the Taliban from Afghanistan finds safe havens

May 5, 2018

Pakistan’s genocide zones: where minorities are subject to “ethnic cleansing” and extrajudicial killings — Where rule of law fears to go…. The Taliban is happy to find safe havens.

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By Irfan Husain
Dawn (Pakistan)

I RECENTLY received an email from a reader that made me ashamed for not having written earlier about the Hazara ethnic/sectarian cleansing taking place in Balochistan.

The young Hazara woman writes: “… in Quetta we are imprisoned to a few kilometres … we can’t go out of this confined area… I am writing to you because I want you to support us, write about us, stand by us, stand against Shia killing and the genocide of Hazaras….”

Reinforcing her perception, Human Rights Watch reported a few years ago: “There is no travel route, no shopping trip, no school, or no work commute that is safe for the Hazaras.” According to this organisation, at least 509 Hazaras have been killed in this campaign that began nearly two decades ago. Hazaras put this figure closer to 3,000.

The recent hunger strike in Quetta by Hazara women emphasised the daily horrors the community faces.

Out of the reported 900,000 or so Hazara citizens who live mostly in Balochistan, around 70,000 are said to have fled, mainly to Australia, where there are reports that hundreds may have drowned during this perilous sea journey. Those who haven’t been able to make the attempt are confined to two ghettoes in Quetta guarded by police and military check posts. But once they leave to shop or work, their lives are at risk.

The recent hunger strike in Quetta by Hazara women emphasised the daily horrors the community faces. And the fact that they called off their protest after meeting the army chief, Gen Bajwa, rather than accepting the promises of security made personally by Ahsan Iqbal, the interior minister, is an open indictment of the failure of successive governments to protect them.

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Gen Bajwa

The Hazaras have not been protesting for better living conditions, or schools, or jobs: all they are demanding is the basic human right to live. This right is enshrined in our Constitution, international law and in all religions. And yet, a spokesman for the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, while accepting responsibility for most of the Hazara killings a few years ago, added that his group was exacting vengeance for the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of American commandos.

In fact, some suggest that the slaughter of Pakistani Hazaras began in earnest after 9/11 when the Afghan Taliban found safe haven in Quetta. Part of their baggage was apparently the desire to continue the genocide in Afghanistan where they had killed thousands of Hazaras for supposedly siding with the Northern Alliance.

Pakistani groups like the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan who had fought with the Taliban turned their guns on the Hazaras. Malik Ishaq, a founding member of the former group who is alleged to have masterminded the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore in 2009 from behind bars, was released on bail by the Supreme Court in 2011.

Unsurprisingly, elders of the Hazara community had expressed their apprehension at his release. Around the same time, several prominent Shia-hating extremists broke out of Mastung jail, possibly with inside help.

So when the Supreme Court chief justice conducts his suo motu hearings of the Hazara persecution in Quetta next week, I hope he will keep their fears of such collusion in mind. One possible nexus he might want to explore is the one mentioned by Jalila Haider, a Hazara lawyer and human rights activist, in a recent TV interview. According to her, Hazaras were being forced by the killings to sell their properties at throwaway prices to avoid the killers who were targeting them at their shops. Could they be acting in conjunction with some of the land mafias that thrive across the country?

The other thing to ask is how come Balochistan, the most heavily militarised province in the country, is so deadly not just for Hazaras, but for Baloch nationalists and non-Baloch workers as well. After all, if the many intelligence agencies and paramilitary forces operating there have managed to largely contain the separatist rebellion, why can’t they smash groups like the Laskhar-i-Jhangvi and the Sipah-i-Sahaba?

More than the Panamagate scandal, I blame Nawaz Sharif and his henchmen for their abject failure to implement the National Action Plan to end religious extremism in the country. Had they been even half-serious in taking the tough measures involved in cracking down on hate speech in our television chat shows, classrooms and mosques, we might have a chance to end the massacres the Hazaras are being subjected to.

Instead, we are stuck in our normal cycle of killings of minorities, crocodile tears from politicians and the media, and then business as usual.

irfan.husain@gmail.com

Published in Dawn, May 5th, 2018

https://www.dawn.com/news/1405766/hazara-massacre

Pakistan: Four Christians Killed in Easter Monday Attack

April 3, 2018

Al Jazeera

Members of same family targeted outside relative’s home while visiting southwestern city to celebrate Easter holiday.

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The shooting in Quetta was the latest to target Pakistan's Christian community [Arshad Butt/AP]
The shooting in Quetta was the latest to target Pakistan’s Christian community [Arshad Butt/AP]

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – At least four people have been killed in an attack targeting Christians in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, officials say, the latest violence to target members of the minority in the South Asian country.

The four men, all members of the same Christian family, were shot to death outside a relative’s home in the Shah Zaman neighbourhood of the city on Monday evening.

“One young girl has been wounded, and four people have been killed, they were all Christians,” Ali Mardan, a senior police official, told Al Jazeera by telephone.

“They were shot dead.”

The family had travelled to Quetta to celebrate Easter with relatives, a family member told Al Jazeera.

“They were guests of ours, they came from Punjab [province] to celebrate Easter. As they left the house to go to the bazaar after dinner […] they were fired upon,” said Tariq Masih, a relative to the victims.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

At least four people were killed in a separate, unrelated shooting incident in Quetta on Monday, officials said.

That incident was related to a personal enmity, police said.

Attacks on minorities

Pakistan has been battling armed groups including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its allies, who seek to impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law on the country, since 2007.

Violence has dropped in recent years, as a series of military operations have succeeded in displacing the TTP and allied groups from their strongholds in northwestern Pakistan, but sporadic large casualty attacks continue.

Attacks often target Pakistan’s minorities, including Shia Muslims as well as Christians, Hindus and members of the Ahmadiyya sect.

In December, a suicide bomb and gun attack targeting Sunday services at a church in Quetta killed at least eight people and left dozens of others wounded.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group claimed responsibility for that attack in a statement, but provided no proof of its involvement.

ISIL, also known as ISIS, has claimed responsibility for several attacks targeting civilians in Balochistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, in recent years, including an attack on a Sufi shrine and multiple attacks on Hazara Shias.

On Sunday, a Hazara Shia man was killed and another wounded in a targeted attack in a Quetta bazaar, local media reported.

In all, at least 242 people were killed in attacks in Balochistan province in 2017, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal research organisation.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s Web Correspondent in Pakistan. Additional reporting by Saadullah Akhtar in Quetta.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/killed-attack-christians-pakistan-quetta-180402161157315.html

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

Pakistani Taliban kill four government paramilitary troopers in gun attack

February 14, 2018

Quetta is plagued by attacks from militant movements like the Pakistani Taliban, who are separate from but loosely allied with the Taliban movement that ruled neighboring Afghanistan in the 1990s. (Reuters)
QUETTA, Pakistan: Pakistani Taliban militants shot dead four paramilitary soldiers in Pakistan’s western city of Quetta, where last month seven security men were killed in a suicide attack, police and the militant group said.
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The Frontier Corps troopers were patrolling the residential neighborhood of Langoabad on motorcycles when they were fired on by gunmen also riding bikes, said Naseebullah Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police for Quetta.
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“The four men were shot in the head,” Khan said, adding that handguns were used in the attack.
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Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack.
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Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, rich in resources and at the heart of $58 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor stretching from the Arabian Sea to China’s Xinjiang region.
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The province, the poorest and least developed in Pakistan, has suffered nearly a decade of separatist violence against the government.
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The area also is plagued by attacks from militant movements like the Pakistani Taliban, who are separate from but loosely allied with the Taliban movement that ruled neighboring Afghanistan in the 1990s and has fought an insurgency against western and Afghan government forces since 2001.

ISIS’ shadow grows over Pakistan

January 20, 2018

Cut in US security aid will make it harder to take on the terrorist group

Late last year, a black-and-white flag was detected fluttering in the breeze near a highway in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. It bore the emblem of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), and at its base were three words: “Khilafat is coming”.

“The caliphate is coming” is an apt warning as Pakistan struggles in its campaign against terrorism and religious extremism.

A report published this month by the independent Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (Pips) flagged an “alarming” increase in ISIS’ footprint in the country even though the Pakistan Taleban and its affiliates remain the most potent threat, being responsible for nearly 60 per cent of the 370 terrorist attacks last year.

“What has been quite alarming is the increasing footprint of Daesh, especially in Balochistan and Sindh,” said the annual security report, using the Arabic term for ISIS.

ISIS was responsible for at least six major attacks last year that left 153 people dead, mostly civilians, it noted. Its victims included two Chinese nationals who were abducted and killed. Other targets included a Sufi shrine in Sindh in which scores were killed, a Methodist church in Quetta and a Pakistani military convoy.

“There is a need to take the matter more seriously because there is a possibility that foreign fighters would come to Pakistan in the near future as things are continuously changing in the Middle East,” Pips official Muhammad Ismail Khan told The Dawn.

ISIS has grown, in part, because of its ability to appeal to and forge alliances with other militant groups. For instance, several nationalist groups in Balochistan that have for a long time waged an insurgency against the Pakistani security forces are reportedly seeking an alliance with ISIS to expand their anti-state resistance.

A policeman standing guard on the roof of a Methodist church in Quetta last December, a day after it was attacked by the ISIS group.

A policeman standing guard on the roof of a Methodist church in Quetta last December, a day after it was attacked by the ISIS group. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSENorthern Sindh, which is mired in choking poverty and underdevelopment, is a fertile recruiting ground for various radical groups.

ISIS has grown, in part, because of its ability to appeal to and forge alliances with other militant groups… For the small-scale hardline and sectarian groups, being associated with a “global brand name” terrorist group like ISIS has its appeal.

For the small-scale hardline and sectarian groups, being associated with a “global brand name” terrorist group like ISIS has its appeal.

And then, there is the complex relationship with the Pakistan Taleban, a heavy hitter otherwise known as Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP).

While the TTP may at one level be in competition with ISIS for recruits, the fact remains that they share a common hostility towards the state apparatus and minority communities. Various TTP factions are believed to have collaborated with ISIS in attacks on security forces.

A concern also is that ISIS will find it easy to leverage on the networks of existing hardline groups such as the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi and Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan to grow and carry out its activities given their common worldview and goals.

Where it does not have a physical presence, ISIS could decide to “outsource” attacks to its associates.

While the ISIS presence is strongest in Balochistan and Sindh, its cells have been busted in various Pakistani cities such as Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.

And the people drawn to ISIS are not necessarily the ultra-conservative men from tribal regions of popular imagination.

In April last year, a security-forces raid on a hideout in Lahore yielded a stash of hand grenades and suicide vests, as well as a 20-year-old medical student who had disappeared from her home town of Hyderabad to join ISIS.

Had she not been arrested, Noreen Leghari was to have blown herself up two days later at an Easter church service.

In a separate case, the ISIS assailants who massacred Shi’ite Muslims packed in a bus were well-educated young men from top universities in Pakistan.

It is hard to ascertain when ISIS planted its roots in Pakistan and the size of its membership.

But four years ago, it came to public attention when a crackdown on the Taleban prompted an appeal for help from women students at an Islamabad madrasah to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The British defence think-tank, the Royal United Services Institute, estimated last year that there were 2,000 to 3,000 ISIS members in Pakistan, according to a Washington Post report.

Several hundred Pakistanis are believed to have made their way to the Middle East. The worry is that as ISIS is being pushed out of Syria and Iraq, more and more of these fighters will return to carry out their caliphate-building mission on home ground.

The rise of ISIS comes at an unfortunate juncture in Pakistan’s relations with the United States.

The Trump administration blames Pakistan for failing to help it rein in the Taleban in Afghanistan – which has grown increasingly powerful – and recently announced it would cut US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) in security assistance.

Pakistan, in turn, sees US policy as tilting increasingly in favour of its enemy, India, and is loath to cut ties with some militant groups which are seen as useful assets.

For some time now, the Pakistan army has been fencing its largely porous border with Afghanistan, and establishing new forts as well as outposts on mountain peaks. The US aid cut is certainly going to hamper these efforts to curb cross-border infiltration and counter-terrorism operations in Balochistan and northern Sindh.

With both the US and Pakistan at loggerheads, the ones that will benefit are the terrorists.

As the highway banner warned: The caliphate is coming. Expect more trouble ahead. •The writer is a lecturer with the Forman Christian College University in Pakistan and a correspondent for The Diplomat magazine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 20, 2018, with the headline ‘ISIS’ shadow grows over Pakistan’.
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China, Pakistan, Afghanistan agree on terror cooperation — Threat of terrorism tied to China’s vast western Xinjiang region

December 26, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Analysts say Beijing’s repressive policies in Xinjiang have engendered riots and terrorist attacks by members of the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority that calls the area home, although China disputes the claim

BEIJING (AFP) – Ministers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and China met in Beijing on Tuesday where they agreed to work together to tackle the threat of terrorism tied to China’s vast western Xinjiang region.The first trilateral meeting of foreign ministers from the countries comes as China steps up its investment in its neighbouring nations as part of its trillion-dollar One Belt One Road investment initiative.

China depends on Afghanistan and Pakistan to help control Xinjiang’s borders, where analysts say Beijing’s repressive policies have engendered riots and terrorist attacks by members of the mostly Muslim Uighur ethnic minority that calls the area home, although China disputes the claim.

Beijing regularly accuses exiled Uighur separatist groups such as the shadowy East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) of orchestrating attacks in resource-rich Xinjiang and other parts of China.

It has expressed concern about Uighur militants finding sanctuary in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We agreed to cooperate in fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and without any distinctions of any sort,” said Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani after the meeting.

Afghanistan will continue its “resolute fight against ETIM and their support groups and networks, and overall counterterrorism cooperation”, he added.

China has long pushed the international community for support in addressing the problem, which it says stems from the infiltration of “radical” religious groups into Xinjiang.

In response, Beijing has placed strict controls on religious practice in the region, turning it into a virtual police state, in a campaign that analysts say has enflamed separatist sentiment.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said the three parties had reached complete consensus in fighting terrorism, adding that China would also “fully leverage” Xinjiang as a base for economic cooperation with the bordering countries.

China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project seeks to revive ancient trade routes, including a massive overland network stretching through Xinjiang and neighbouring Afghanistan and Pakistan towards Europe.

China’s expanding economic presence in Pakistan and Afghanistan has also brought some terrorism related setbacks.

This summer two Chinese citizens travelling on business visas to Pakistan were kidnapped in Quetta, the provincial capital of mineral-rich Balochistan province. The Islamic State group claimed responsiblity for killing them.

Pakistan said at the time that the two had been engaged in illegal preaching.

Deadly suicide attack on Christian church in southwest Pakistan

December 17, 2017

AFP

© Banaras Khan, AFP | A Pakistani policeman stands guard outside the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church during a Christmas mass in Quetta on December 25, 2014.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-12-17

At least four people were killed and and 18 wounded on Sunday after two suicide attackers stormed a church in the restive southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta Sunday, officials said, just over a week before Christmas.

Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister for Baluchistan province, says hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church ahead of Christmas. He says one attacker was killed at the entrance to the church while the other set off his payload inside. Police officer Mohammad Atiq confirmed the toll.

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Local television showed ambulances and security patrols racing to the scene while women and children were being led out of the church’s main gate.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Muslim extremists have targeted Pakistan’s Christian minority in the past.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

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Pakistan moving towards instability: Nawaz Sharif

December 15, 2017

Geo News

LONDON: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday said the country is moving towards instability and the current circumstances in Pakistan are not satisfactory.

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Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz added that the country, which was progressing well, is now moving towards instability after the July 28 decision.

“I said it during my rally in Quetta too, such decisions become the reason for anarchy in a country,” said the former prime minister.

Nawaz is in London after the court had exempted him for a short duration from appearing in the hearings held for the NAB references registered against him.

Nawaz said his government has worked hard during the last four years to improve the country and the circumstances of the masses.

However, he said, terrorism which was under control during his leadership is again rearing its head in the country.

“CPEC projects have slowed down, projects are not progressing at the speed as they were during our tenure,” elaborated Nawaz further and added that the stock exchange, which was hovering around 54,000 points, has now dropped down to around 37,000 points.

“These are all economic indicators. Political instability effects the country.”

Nawaz also expressed his dismay at the current circumstances.

Image result for Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, photos

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi

Earlier today, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif arrived at Hasan Nawaz’s office in London to meet party leader and former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz’s daughter Maryam, Shehbaz’s son Salman, and other members of the family were also present at the meeting.

Abbasi said the government would complete its tenure and elections would be held on time.

“The government will complete its tenure and elections will be held on time,” said the prime minister, reiterating the government’s stance.

The prime minister also said that the merger of FATA with KP is part of the agenda and some reservations raised are being allayed.

The PML-N leaders also met former premier Shaukat Aziz at his London residence yesterday to offer their condolences on the demise of his son.

According to credible sources privy to developments in PML-N, Nawaz has also recently met former finance minister Ishaq Dar in London. The meeting was held at the residence of Nawaz’s son, Hasan Nawaz, wherein the present situation of the country came under discussion, sources said.

https://www.geo.tv/latest/172299-country-moving-towards

China is helping Pakistan build bunkers along Gujarat, Rajasthan border. But why?

December 2, 2017

India Today

The Pakistani side has set up more than 350 such dugouts with Chinese help. The structures are difficult to locate as the stones used for the construction are inconspicuous.

Sharat Kumar | Dev Ankur Wadhawan | Posted by Ashna Kumar
New Delhi, December 1, 2017 | UPDATED 08:33 IST

Bunkers made by the Pakistan army along the Gujarat border.The permanent bunkers along the border with Gujarat and Rajasthan are difficult to locate.
China is helping Pakistan build strong permanent bunkers along the border with Gujarat and Rajasthan, pictures exclusively accessed by Aaj Tak reveal, in fresh evidence of the two troublesome neighbours joining forces to nettle India.

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The Pakistani side has set up more than 350 such dugouts with Chinese help. The structures are difficult to locate as the stones used for the construction are inconspicuous.
Sources say defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already visited key areas thrice to assess the security preparedness since getting intelligence reports on the matter.

Pakistan has also purportedly undertaken construction of defence canals, swamps and road infrastructure. China and Pakistan consider each other “all-weather friends” and have close diplomatic, economic and security ties. Officials point out that there has been a significant rise in the number of Chinese soldiers close to the Indian border with Pakistan.

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WHAT ARE THE CHINESE UP TO?

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The Chinese have also been building airports adjacent to India: two have come up in the last four months while work on two more is underway. An airbase is already complete about 25km away from the Ghotaru border in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district. The Chinese have been building another airport in Tharparkar, close to Rajasthan’s Barmer.

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This base too is about 25km from the Indian border.

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India has often raised concerns over China’s growing presence in the region, fearing strategic encirclement by a “string of pearls” around the Indian Ocean and on land as China builds ports, railways and power stations in countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Chinese soldiers have been building an airport close to Gujarat as well, in the Mithi region, 20km from India.

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Plans are afoot to lay railway tracks for a China-Pakistan corridor. According to sources, during a flag meeting with India, Pakistan claimed that the airports will be used by oil and gas companies of China as earlier they used to find it difficult to arrive at the location. New Delhi has been sceptical of Beijing’s One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR) – an audacious network of land and sea routes that seeks to connect Asia, Europe, Africa and West Asia in a modern, magnified version of the Silk Route.

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Part of the corridor runs through Gilgit-Baltistan, territory that India sees as sovereign and illegally occupied, all the way to the Gwadar deep-sea port in Pakistan. New Delhi denounced the project and boycotted a huge conclave in May in Beijing that was attended by 60 countries that have signed up to the Belt-and-Road project.

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According to intelligence inputs, several Chinese soldiers have also been seen in Peerkamal and Cholistan, close to Jaislamer. Security agencies are perplexed at the prospect of the relatively quiet desert area being turned into a strategic location by China.

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There are also reports that Chinese soldiers are trying to upgrade airbases such as the ones in Pakistan’s Karachi, Jacobabad, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Sargoda and Peshawar. Relations between China and India nosedived this year during a dispute over a three-way junction between Bhutan, China’s Tibet and India’s Sikkim, which was resolved with both sides standing down in August.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/china-helping-pakistan-india-border-pakistan-army-gujarat-rajasthan/1/1100892.html

Suicide Vest Bomb kills 4, wounds 19 in southwest Pakistan

November 25, 2017

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QUETTA: A suicide bomber detonated his explosives vest in the southwestern city of Quetta, killing at least four people and wounding 19 others, police said Saturday.
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Senior officer Abdur Razzaq Cheema said the suicide attack took place near a bus terminal in the city’s outskirts. The target was the vehicle of an army colonel but the officer was not in the vehicle at the time of attack, he said.
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Cheema said most of the victims were civilians, including a child, while four security men were also wounded.
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Explosive experts concluded that some 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of explosives with steel balls were used in the suicide vest, Cheema said.
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Pakistan’s Taliban group claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, which came two weeks after a suicide bomber killed Quetta’s police chief and three other officers. The Pakistani Taliban also claimed responsibility for that attack.
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Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, the scene of a low-level insurgency by Baluch separatist groups.
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Meanwhile, Daesh group has claimed responsibility for killing a senior police officer and his guard in a suicide attack in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday.
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