Islamabad: Pressure is mounting on the Pakistan government to review its China policy or risk the prospect of facing global isolation and condemnation along with China in the wake of China’s clash with India in Eastern Ladakh.
Informed sources have revealed that the Foreign Office has told Imran Khan’s PMO that unless Pakistan did a quick course correction on its China relationship, it would face the wrath of the world’s major economic powers who were determined to isolate China consequent to the clash with India and China’s behaviour during the Covid pandemic.
The first indication of what awaits Pakistan for its blind support to China was the manner in which the European Union banned the national airline PIA from landing in Europe. Pakistan has made all-out efforts to convince the EU that only internationally qualified pilots would fly those routes but the EU refuses to listen. The European nations are moving to isolate China at the diplomatic level for its aggressive stance against India and here Pakistani sources believe that Islamabad could face collateral damage.
Already there is great anger against China in Pakistan, especially in Balochistan and in Gilgit Baltistan at the manner in which Pakistan’s resources are being exploited by China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC to the detriment of local people. The Baloch and the people of Gilgit Baltistan are denied local jobs, as Chinese companies prefer to bring in cheap Chinese labourers to do the tasks. Moreover, the Chinese companies are unmindful of local customs and traditions and have kept themselves aloof from local people and are, therefore, viewed with suspicion.
The word has also spread that China has usurped land in India and could do the same in forward areas in Pakistan. Getting swamped by Chinese culture is a definite fear among the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, who have expressed their concern to several officials. News reports of the cruel treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims by the Chinese government are also the topic of conversation in many religious WhatsApp groups.