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CAN PAKISTAN REALLY AFFORD CHINESE IN ITS BACKYARD?

Recently in Pakistan Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had busted a human trafficking racket which was involved pushing the Pakistani brides into flesh trading business. Total of nine Chinese nationals was arrested along with few local Pakistanis.

Further investigation has indicated that this may be the tip of the iceberg as many more countries are complaining of the bride trafficking by the Chinese nationals. These countries are Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam.

Modus operandi has been similar to what has been followed by these gangs in Pakistan. Identify the financially weaker families. Offer them help to mitigate their financial woes by promising jobs in China for which girls need to marry boys from China. In return, the gang members offered money, to the family members of the brides.

It has been revealed that in Pakistan, the gang was one of the consequences of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a project, touted to be the ultimate game changer in improving the economic woes of Pakistan. However, people in many provinces think it otherwise and feel their natural resources are being exploited to a dangerous level which may have serious repercussion on the people of the provinces and on the environment in particular. This has also led to many violent protests against the Pakistan government, especially in Baluchistan who feel cheated. Attacks on Chinese nationals have also been attributed to this which may get aggravated with the recent revelation of human trafficking by the Chinese.

Faisalabad, as per the investigators, has been the hub of these activities, where the gang members operated from a house in Eden Garden taken on rent by some Chinese involved in some power project in Haveli Bahadar Shah as part of the CPEC.  However, the tenants had some other plans too.

It was learned that a whopping amount of Rs1.8 million to Rs3.5 million per girl was paid to the gang for a successful marriage and gang, in turn, paid paltry Rs 50000 to Rs 70000 to the Pakistani agents facilitating marriages. Most of their victims belonged to the underprivileged Christian families. So it was actually a very well planned project to make fast money at the cost of these abducted girls. What was most surprising was that the bridegrooms claimed to be Christians and the victims believed them?

The gang would also run the marriage bureau in China to make the families of proposed girls believe them as genuine. Pictures of the Chinese males were then sent to the gang operating in Pakistan through WeChat etc who shared it with their Pakistani agents. And all this was happening in the presence of the Pakistan police personnel who were providing security to Chinese. So, it won’t be wrong if someone says that human trafficking was known to the authorities.

After marriage, the couple would stay in the house rented by the gang until they finally returned to China. However, there the brides were then forced to do indecent activities and finally pushed them into prostitution. Recently two such brides managed to flee and could recount the horrors. They have requested the Pakistani embassy in China for their return to their home.

China has been indulging in such activities in many other countries too. So, it is not only Pakistan, but some other countries have also discovered women from their country being trafficked from there to China. In a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), it has disclosed that hundreds of Myanmar women and girls were tricked into traveling to China through promises of employment only to be sold off to Chinese families as brides and held in sexual slavery often for years.

The entire episode has once again highlighted the consequences of having Chinese moving freely in the backyard with a visa on arrival basis. Pakistan made the Chinese language compulsory in various schools. It has been forced to use the Chinese currency for various transactions along the CPEC. Chinese are publically abusing and insulting Pakistani police persons and now it is Bride Smuggling.

Pakistan must understand that it is the sovereignty of the Nation which comes first and friendship later. Sooner it is understood better it will be to control the situation going from bad to worse.

 

11 May 2019/ Saturday                                                       Written By Azadazraq

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