08 Nov 2017/ Wednesday
The Chinese state media notes the risks involved in the CPEC following the repeated abduction and killings of Chinese nationals in Pakistan. And each time both the governments express their deep sense of shock and grief on the barbaric acts of terrorism and extend condolences to the families of the victims. But citizens are repeatedly being abducted raped and killed and the governments are only offering condolences to the bereaved families? As reported in Dawn newspaper, Pak government has deployed 15,000 personnel, as part of the Special Security Division (SSD) and Maritime Security Force (MSF), to protect projects under CPEC. Same time China plans to raise a 10,000-strong ‘private army’ for deployment in CPEC in the garb of protecting Chinese workers and construction sites. Then why is it that the Chinese ambassador still fears for life of Chinese in Pakistan?
Is this normal?
Even though the data of Chinese companies operating in Pakistan is incomplete, reports suggest that almost 800 Chinese companies are operating in Pakistan. China has engulfed Pakistan in all sectors: be it banking, telecommunications, construction, oil and gas, education or health. As far as personnel’s are concerned, there are reportedly 40,000 Chinese in Pakistan at present. Ministries are tightlipped and unwilling to offer any pertinent information. These Chinese visitors are not only consultants and experts, but regular office staff, at the junior, mid and senior levels. Both the governments are not being transparent in their dealings, not just under the CPEC umbrella but otherwise as well. To the extent that CPEC is now disparagingly called the ‘China Punjab Economic Corridor!
China sees Pakistan as a land of opportunity. Already trapping Pakistan in debt it now Pakistan govt which is in doldrums, sees CPEC as a life support system and has therefore developed immunity to the inter-provincial resentment and huge differences that have flared between Pakistanis and Chinese. The Chinese engaging in ongoing missionary activities in Pakistan was thrust into the spotlight in June this year when Meng Li Si and Li Xinheng, were killed in Pakistan. The Chinese churches’ most ambitious plan “Mission China 2030”, which aims to send 20,000 faithful overseas, seems to be in full swing in Pakistan. Also Chinese-Pakistani marriages are in vogue courtesy CPEC, and this obviously good news for China whose sex ratio is totally off balance. On the other hand stories of slave husbands from Pakistan are also rampant. Cultural exchange is a positive trend; however are the hardliners in Pakistan okay with this new arrangement?
It appears that both governments are trying to keep the surface calm, knowing that there is a volcano erupting in the belly. The Chinese influx in Pakistan has the potential to explode anytime. However, with total disregard to their citizens (that’s what the government policy has been for ages) both governments are milking each other. Pakistan does realize that losing sovereignty to China is emotive and has the potential to explode but in the current scenario it is only floating in dead waters.