Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has exposed China to new terror threats from affiliated groups from its key strategic partner nation- Pakistan. China’s interests and nationals in Pakistan are coming under assault after Kabul fell to the Taliban.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a Pashtun Islamist umbrella organisation along the Afghan-Pakistan border that aims to create an Islamic state in Pakistan, has been revived and emboldened by the Taliban’s seizure of power.
TTP fighters and a few top leaders were released from prison by Taliban insurgents during the final phases of the militant’s blitzkrieg takeover. Baloch separatist groups known to have sanctuaries in Afghanistan have likewise been given a new lease on insurgent life by the Taliban’s rise.
Both have accelerated their attacks on Chinese interests in Pakistan since the Taliban takeover, including projects associated with the US$60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a spoke of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the region.
TTP has claimed to have carried out 32 attacks on Pakistani security forces in August. It claimed another 29 assaults through mid-September, killing and wounding a score of security personnel. Last week alone, the TTP inflicted nine casualties on Pakistani military forces.
Last month, two Chinese were injured in a suicide attack that killed two children staged at the Gwadar port, which China is developing as part of the CPEC. Later a suicide bomber detonated explosives close to a vehicle carrying Chinese nationals in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.
Three people were killed, and two Chinese injured in the attack claimed by the Balochistan Liberation Army.