By Hu Weijia
A suicide bomb on Friday at a political rally in southwest Pakistan's Balochistan Province killed at least 132 people, the deadliest in a series of assaults on candidates ahead of general elections on July 25.
The incidents have raised fears of an increase in violence as Pakistan prepares for the polls. Chinese organizations and personnel in Pakistan should remain vigilant toward possible terrorist attacks and avoid being targets.
Many Chinese companies and a large number of Chinese workers have gone to Pakistan following an investment wave along what is known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The corridor is a major development project that is termed as a game-changer for the country.
But if the situation in Pakistan continues to deteriorate, it's possible that some CPEC projects in fields such as energy and transport may become targets of terrorist attacks. Chinese citizens living in Pakistan need to increase security awareness, reduce outdoor activities in the coming weeks and avoid going to crowded places. Chinese enterprises doing business in the country should also raise their security measures.
China supports Pakistan's efforts in fighting terrorism and is willing to provide appropriate assistance. The ambitious corridor linking Kashgar in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Gwadar Part in southwest Pakistan should not only be an economic artery but also a platform for security cooperation.
Islamist extremism and separatism in Xinjiang is one of the greatest threats to national security. Substantial progress has been achieved in cracking down on extremists who conduct terrorist activities. China is willing to share its experience with Pakistan to maintain regional security and stability.
Apart from traditional counter-terrorism cooperation, more efforts are needed to provide China's neighbor with necessary assistance. Xinjiang has seen a spike in security-related investment over the past few years, and the region has achieved some good results in areas such as information technology.
More security-related investment projects must be introduced to Pakistan under the CPEC framework. The CPEC has much potential to enhance security cooperation between China and Pakistan, and improvements in Pakistan's security situation will also bode well for the CPEC.