Many Pakistanis believe China’s CPEC is only benefiting Beijing growth story.
Tashkurgan is an important border outpost at the geographic heart of Beijing’s plans to build a major trade artery of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), connecting Kashgar to the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar. But the residents of Pakistan claimed that promises made by Chinese are hollow and it is using every resources and investing billions of dollars on infrastructure projects to expand Beijing’s growth story.
The China-Pakistan Friendship Highway runs over 1,300 kilometres from the far western Chinese city of Kashgar through the world’s highest mountain pass and across the border.
“China says our friendship is as high as the Himalayas and as deep as the sea, but it has no heart,” said Pakistani businessman Murad Shah, as he tended his shop in Tashkurgan, 120 kilometres from the mountain pass where trucks line up to cross between China’s vast Xinjiang region and Pakistan. “There is no benefit for Pakistan. It’s all about expanding China’s growth,” Shah said.
There have been number of protests against Pakistan’s exploitation by China in the garb of CPEC. All such voices have been crushed by Pakistan Army by using Anti Terror Laws against the protesters and trying them in Army Courts. Recently the PM of the PoK had come out in open that he will like to join another country rather than stay with Pakistan.
These developments show the deeply divided Pakistan. However China attributes them to having fueled by India. Latest muscle flexing by China in Doklam is also being seen as an instrument to put pressure on India to come out in open and support its dream project OBOR.