ISLAMABAD: Heavily dependent on Chinese loans and investments to shore up its ailing economy, Pakistan has condoned all acts of human rights violations by China, according to a media report.
Di Valerio Fabbri, writing in Geopolitica.info, said China’s all-time ally Pakistan gave a decent burial to its own Muslim identity to back Beijing on the Uyghur issue, as well as Hong Kong and Tibet.
Earlier, in an interview with CNN during the Winter Olympics, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan turned a blind eye to the crackdown on Muslims from the Uyghur community in China and said the situation in the autonomous region Uyghur was not what the Western media portrayed, Fabbri said.
Following a meeting between Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, a joint statement said: “The Pakistani side has expressed its ‘commitment to the one China policy’ and its support for China to Taiwan, South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinxiang and Tibet.”
Pakistan has endorsed all acts of human rights violations by China even as 243 global groups called for action against China for human rights violations on the eve of the Winter Olympics, Fabbri said.
“The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will open amid atrocities, crimes and other serious human rights abuses by the Chinese government, 243 NGOs from around the world said today,” said Human Rights Watch in a recent statement last January, Geopolitica.info reported.
However, while speaking to a group of Chinese journalists visiting Islamabad, Imran Khan revealed the real reason behind his approval of China’s oppression of his fellow Muslims in Xinxiang. The Chinese version was completely different from what appeared in Western media, he acknowledged.
“Because of our extreme closeness and relationship with China, we actually accept the Chinese version,” he said, as quoted in the Dawn newspaper.
Imran Khan, the self-proclaimed champion of Islamic causes, has no choice but to support China’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims in Xinxiang. Caught in the web of the Belt and Road Initiative and with a growing reliance on China for economic aid, Pakistani leaders have no choice but to publicly back the policies of China, even the oppression of fellow Muslims, Geopolitica.info reported.
During his visit to Beijing for the Winter Olympics, Khan pledged to the Chinese to strengthen the BRI’s flagship project in China, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which faces several problems in Pakistan . Ordinary people in Pakistan resent the CPEC for issues such as forced land acquisition, insufficient compensation and the overbearing military presence in public life.
Khan during his visit to Beijing also signed an agreement with China to start the second phase of CPEC; and in the market endorsed China’s oppression of fellow Uyghur Muslims. Although Imran Khan, before coming to power, criticized CPEC due to the secrecy surrounding it and uneven investment priorities, leaving some provinces in Pakistan neglected.
Imran Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, when in opposition, demanded full transparency in CPEC’s investments, Geopolitica.info reported.
Dawn, too, in an editorial had called for greater transparency in Chinese funding of CPEC projects.
US international development research lab AidData said in a 2021 report that a significant portion of Chinese development funding under CPEC was not grants but loans at or near commercial rates, Geopolitica reported. .info.
About half of this so-called development finance was in the form of export buyer credits, money lent by Chinese institutions to Pakistan for the purchase of equipment and goods to be purchased by companies. Chinese partners in the implementation of projects.
Details of these loans do not appear on the books of the Pakistani government, Geopolitica.info reported.