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Pakistan: Next In Line

After triggering an economic collapse of Sri Lanka and some of the African countries with its Debt-trap diplomacy, China, seemingly, is all set to do the same with Pakistan. As Pakistan is going through a political turmoil, the Asian giant has decided to put the South Asian nation under diplomatic pressure in order to boost the reach of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the principal military force of China and the Armed Wing of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Reports suggest that China is planning to set up Army Bases in Pakistan. Since the terrorist attacks on some Chinese workers in the Pakistani port city of Karachi in April 2022, Beijing has been asking Islamabad to allow the former to build Army Bases on the Pakistani soil for protecting the Chinese citizens.


Thousands of Chinese nationals are working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Karachi, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan. In April, a female suicide bomber of the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) blew up a van inside the campus of Karachi University. The terror attack claimed the lives of three Chinese nationals and their Pakistani driver. Later, Beijing expressed serious concern about the safety of Chinese citizens staying in Pakistan for completing the CPEC project. According to sources close to Beijing, the Chinese officials have selected areas where they could set up those bases. The Asian Powerhouse wants to set up Army Bases in those areas where US Army Bases were built during the Cold War.

China is also ready to provide Pakistan with some amount of benefits in exchange for clearance from Islamabad to build Army Bases. It may be noted that Pakistan borrowed a huge amount of loan from China. Now, Beijing has agreed to lower the interest rate of the loan, saying that the top political leadership in China shall look into the matter on favourable terms.

China is popularly known as Pakistan’s all-weather friend. However, Chinese nationals are being repeatedly attacked in Balochistan by the BLA activists, who have always opposed the CPEC project. This troubled Pakistani province shares borders with neighbouring Afghanistan and Iran. Hence, intrusion is a common phenomenon in this province. Time and again, the Government of Pakistan has claimed that intruders are involved in terrorist activities.

Originally valued at USD 47 billion, the value of CPEC projects is worth USD 62 billion as of 2020. As per the original plan, a 3,000km-long road shall connect China’s Uyghur region with the port of Ghadar in western Pakistani Province of Balochistan. According to Islamabad, the BLA has already carried out multiple terror attacks on the CPEC project. As much of this road goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, neighbouring India has been protesting against the construction of this road.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

Meanwhile, political analysts are of the opinion that the mega Chinese project shall have a negative economic impact on Pakistan, as the South Asian country shall have to face a crisis situation, like Sri Lanka. In the changing global geopolitical landscape, it has become increasingly difficult for the Global Community to trust China.

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