Pakistan Terror Attacks: What Can We Learn?
On May 11, 2019, gunmen stormed the Pearl Continental Hotel in Balochistan Province in Pakistan killing five people. The hotel, a key part of a multibillion dollar Chinese investment project in Pakistan, is popular with foreign executives and investors. The perpetrators of the attack stated that killing foreign investors and those involved in the project was their driving goal, further underscoring the terrorism exposure which overseas projects and investments face across Asia.
Thankfully, casualties were minimised as the timing of the attack coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. As the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and other North Asian foreign direct investment (FDI) initiatives gain pace, the terrorism exposure faced by these projects and operational assets continues to increase. Just last month in Sri Lanka, we saw another attack on foreign interests and individuals as several hotels and churches were attacked by groups linked to the Islamic State (IS).
These troubling events serve to crystalise the threat across the region to targets with foreign footfall and foreign ownership, as well as the hostility to foreign investment in some key areas featuring in the BRI and other FDI initiatives.
In these volatile times, organisations must be aware of the terrorism threat faced by the key locations they operate in. They must also mitigate risks associated with staff travelling to these locations. Aon’s 2019 Risk Maps provide information on the terrorism threat across the world and can be accessed free of charge.
Our advice is to be aware of the exposure you face and ensure that your risk, crisis management, and risk transfer programmes are in place and sufficient. You must also be aware of the differing profile of active assailant attacks.