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Frequent attacks on coal trucks pose risk on Pakistan’s CPEC ambitions: Report – World News Network

Balochistan [Pakistan], July 2 (ANI): The frequent attacks on the coal trucks in the Balochistan region is affecting Pakistan’s economy and also possesses a risk towards China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Asian Lite reported.
At least 20 coal trucks were allegedly set on fire by the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) in Harnai, Balochistan on Tuesday.
The report highlighted that the Baloch armed rebels are systematically targeting Pakistan’s energy sector by attacking coal mines in the Balochistan province, where resource nationalism is rife.
These trucks were reportedly ferrying coal to thermal power plants in Punjab. The motorcade belonging to the deputy commissioner of Harani was also attacked by the BLA fighters.
“Freedom fighters of Baloch Liberation Army targeted a convoy of Deputy Commissioner and vehicles transporting plundered Baloch national resources in Harnai last night. A suspicious individual was also arrested,” the Asian Lite quoted BLA from a press release.
Highlighting the modus operandi, the BLA statement added: “The main highway was blocked throughout the night and at least 20 vehicles involved in the plunder of Baloch natural resources were destroyed”.
Qazi Rehan, the spokesperson of the Baloch National Movement (BNM), said that coal from Chamalang mines in Balochistan is transported to various cities in Punjab for industrial purposes and the generation of electricity.
“This activity has been a source of constant conflict between the Baloch nation and Punjab since the seventies. In the past, some Baloch sardars wanted to assert their authority for these resources and collaborate with people in Punjab for industrial development but the Baloch fighters have been resisting this through continuous attacks”, Asian Lite quoted Rehan as saying.
Notably, coal trucks and mineral wealth have been repeatedly attacked in the Balochistan region. Coal trucks in Balochistan were attacked at the beginning of this month also.
On June 1, 42 coal trucks from Harnai and Duki coal fields were held up at gunpoint on the Harnai road. The Baloch fighters opened fire puncturing the tyres and damaging the trucks.
This resistance to the exploitation of mineral wealth has affected Pakistan’s economy in the past and will continue to affect the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has at least six coal-fired power plants out of a total of 21 power plants, Asian Lite reported.
The frequent attacks on the coal trucks have rattled the Pakistan Coal Suppliers Association and Good Transport Association. It has asked Islamabad to provide proper security to the truck drivers and the coal-supplying firms.
Citing Dawn report, Asian Lite stated that the associations have claimed that they are “paying Rs 230 per tonne to the Frontier Corps [the Pakistani paramilitary forces guarding Balochistan] for providing security to the trucks transporting coal to other cities” and have threatened to stop coal supply.
Baloch resource nationalism was also evident on June 28, after a blast took place at an ammunition store related to the Saindak mining project in Balochistan, which injured three soldiers and a watchman.
The Saindak management stated in a press release that a sudden explosion occurred in an ammunition store of the Wah Noble Company in a hilly area five km away from the Sendak project and township, Asian Lite reported.
The statement added that the explosion in the ammunition store might have been caused by an electrical short circuit or due to heat from the sun.
Pakistan has given the Saindak gold and copper mines to the Chinese company Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), a subsidiary of the China Metallurgical Group Corporation. Saindak mines are located in the Chagai district near the Afghan-Iran border.
Incidentally, the spate of attacks is also driving fissures among the various ethnic communities in a “highly radicalised Pakistan” as some people have alleged that Pashtun businessmen and Pashtun labourers are being targeted through the attacks on coal trucks, Asian Lite reported.
These incidents have sparked outrage, and many people have also blamed the Pakistani security forces for usurping Pashtun resources by allowing attacks on the trucks. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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