On April 26, 2022, three Chinese teachers and their Pakistani driver were killed by a suicide bombing at the entrance to the University of Karachi’s Confucius Institute.
Those killed in the attack included the Confucius Institute’s founder, Huang Guiping, and his fellow teachers, Ding Mupeng and Chen Sai. A fourth teacher, Wang Yuqing, was injured in the attack.
The separatist Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attack. Sources identified the assailant as Shaari Baloch. The assailant detonated her explosive vest outside the university entrance, just as a van carrying the victims pulled up. In a statement obtained by CNN, BLA commented that it targeted the Institute as a “symbol of Chinese economic, cultural and political expansionism.”
The university announced a suspension of activities following the attack.
Scholars at Risk is gravely concerned by a violent, targeted attack on members of a higher education institution and offers condolences to the victims, their families, and friends. In addition to the terrible loss of life and injuries, such attacks–especially when accompanied by reports of intentional political animus–target the core values of the university, including equitable access to all qualified persons, academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas, institutional autonomy, and social responsibility. State authorities have a responsibility to safeguard these values by taking all reasonable steps to ensure the security of higher education communities and their members, including a responsibility to deter future attacks by investigating incidents and making every effort to hold perpetrators accountable, consistent with internationally recognized standards. Members of society similarly have a responsibility to help safeguard the higher education space, especially following incidents of such gross violence, by pressing demands to state authorities for greater protection and accountability, and by contributing to efforts to understand and reinforce principles of autonomy and academic freedom.