Quetta Hotel Attack: CPEC in the Pakistan Taliban’s Crosshairs?

Photo from the aftermath of a 2016 bombing attack in Quetta. modified, cc Voice of America, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?sort=last_edit_desc&search=quetta+bomb+filetype%3Abitmap&title=Special%3ASearch&profile=advanced&fulltext=1&advancedSearch-current=%7B%22fields%22%3A%7B%22filetype%22%3A%22bitmap%22%7D%7D&ns0=1&ns6=1&ns14=1#/media/File:August_2016_Quetta_attacks_army.jpg


Five people were killed and another 12 wounded in a bombing apparently targeting China’s ambassador to Pakistan on Wednesday. The explosion occurred in the parking lot of the Serena Hotel in Quetta, where ambassador Nong Rong had been staying, though he wasn’t on-site at the time of the attack.

The incident underscores lingering security challenges stemming from a decades-long insurgency in Balochistan, and how these challenges continue to jeopardize the economic promise of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Beijing’s vision of Belt and Road.

It also implies a change of tactics by the Pakistan Taliban and, potentially, growing operational alignment between Sindh- and Baloch-based militant groups.


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