“More than 600 Pakistani girls ‘sold as brides’ to Chinese men” in the last two years, reads the headline by Al Jazeera on Dec 05. While such newsfeeds are highly censored in China, Pakistan Army’s Laissez-faire attitude towards its countrymen is legendary; hence this figure can be safely anticipated to be twenty times of what are the reported statistics. “In October, a court in Faisalabad acquitted 31 Chinese nationals charged in connection with trafficking”. “Several of the women who had initially been interviewed by police refused to testify because they were either threatened or bribed into silence, according to a court official and a police investigator familiar with the case”. While this makes the newsprint, much of it goes unreported, untraced and barefacedly ignored.
Mandarinization of the Land of Pak: O Beloved Mother China
China is boosting its Mandarin teaching through state-backed language and culture organizations called Confucius Institutes. Pakistan is home to fourteen with seven more Confucius resource centers set to open: spreading exposure to its arts and narrative media in a bid to engage everyday Pakistanis.
Earlier this year, PTV World (State-owned Pakistani TV channel) aired its first Chinese cartoon series, titled Three Drops of Blood, following its premiere at the state Pakistan National Council of Arts, where the Chinese Embassy rented a large portion of the building to host a China Cultural Centre. PTV and other commercial television channels air Chinese series of documentaries, dramas and other television programs provided by China for free.
Already since the last three years, investments in Cineworld, TV and documentaries follow Chinese interests along within print media. Launched in 2017, Huashang, the first-ever Chinese language newspaper in Pakistan, now boasts a readership of over three lacs a week. It implies how much Mandarin has permeated in learning and daily lives of Pakistanis.
The Han on the Roll
China’s crackdown on mostly-Muslim minorities in the far western province of Xinjiang, which includes the Turkic-speaking Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz, has swept up as many as 1 million people.
Grim re-education camps with barbed wire fences and guard towers. There, they learn party slogans and songs and study the Chinese language. Government officials say the camps are necessary to crack down on 20 years of “violent terrorism” in the region. But human rights groups say the operation is an attempt to erase Uyghur culture and traditions; some call it “cultural genocide.”
“Many Uighur-majority regions have been ordered to detain a certain percentage of the adult population even if no fault was found. Detentions frequently occur for no discernible reasons”.
Though Chinese government officials might try to paint these “re-education camps” as enriching experiences, a report published in October by the French news service Agency France-Presse undermined that narrative. The report described camps where thousands of guards carrying spiked clubs, tear gas and stun guns veil the detainees, who are held in buildings surrounded by razor wire and infrared cameras.
Down in Pakistan, while Balochistan, in last five years, has bore the brunt of Pakistan-China military emulation of Uyghur repression called “Strike Hard, Maximum Pressure” in 1990s (wherein in a single incident Chinese military and paramilitary forces unleashed a storm of unprecedented brutality over the course of three days that resulted in the deaths of seven Chinese forces who killed approximately 3,000 Uyghurs). Pakistan is now being systematically subjected to Han-ise the population, very similar to the Uyghur formula since 2010. While Pakistan’s industries manufacturing tire, ceramic and domestic consumption goods have been decommissioned by Chinese cheap goods, a hapless poverty-driven population is already queuing up to sell assets to Chinese shadow buyers.
Like Bride trafficking, wherein, Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, and Vietnam “all have become source countries for a brutal business”, Pakistan has seen a range of cases against Chinese committing atrocities, now not only in Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan but also in rest of Pakistan state. Most of the cases are summarily dismissed as now Imran-Bajwa combine has the judiciary in its clutches, very sweet-hearted to the Chinese. Intentionally, laws to protect Pakistani citizen’s rights and interests have not to be put in place.
CPEC will usher in an even more sweeping takeover of the Pakistani economy as well as culture. Thousands of acres of Pakistani land will be transferred to Chinese companies to grow crops, build meat processing plants and develop free trade zones. Chinese garment factories will, en masse, be transferred to Pakistan, while China will manage and run tourism projects and special economic zones along the southern coast. While that, the middlemen, affluent Punjab dominated zamindar class will be the caretakers to effect this smooth transition.
Uyghur like management of the state of Pakistan is not a rhetoric, given the manner things have progressed. It shall be the smoother progression of Pakistan, to Sino sphere, while the ongoing cultural colonization is effected as smoothly as possible. Bribing Pakistani political and Pakistani Military leadership has been the easier part, now the long but unhindered toil towards Chinisation of Pakistan has commenced. Law shall be available to suit the needs of the skilled workforce from China, be it women, land, natural resources and the low cost Chinized-Unskilled Pakistani common man workforce, now rendered poor and jobless. If there is a point in time to stop this Hanization of Pakistan, it is now and will take nothing less than a revolution, by the Pakistani civil society.
06 Dec 19/Friday Written by Fayaz