Islamabad: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is becoming a headache for Pakistan. The criticism was already being made that Pakistan has drowned till its neck in the Chinese debt trap, because of the CPEC project. Hence, the incident of the Chinese soldiers beating up the Pakistani soldiers has surfaced. At the same time, as the senior officials of the Pakistan military are busy pleasing the Chinese contractors, ignoring the complaints of the soldiers, anger has increased in Pakistan against China and the Pakistan military. This is not the first instance of Chinese soldiers beating up the Pakistan soldiers.
Pakistan military is assigned the task of providing security to the Chinese employees working on the CPEC Projects. China demanded this security arrangement by complaining that its workers were being targeted in Pakistan. Against this background, Pakistan military vehicles and soldiers are deployed for the security of the Chinese employees. On 21st of July, Chinese workers on the Karachi-Peshawar project, under CPEC, beat up the Pakistani soldiers in the Bahawalpur district in the Punjab province. The Pakistan military tried to keep the matter under wraps for the last two weeks. But the incident was reported by the Pakistani media.
A Chinese employee working on the concerned project first hit a Pakistani soldier twice on his head. When another Pakistani soldier went to help the soldier, three other Chinese workers beat the second soldier severely. Both the Pakistani soldiers were grievously hurt. The incident was reported to senior officials, Major Shazad and Lieutenant Colonel Imam Qasim. But both the senior officials instructed the soldiers to keep quiet and not to retaliate against the Chinese workers. Lieutenant Colonel Imam Qasim is accused of receiving millions of rupees from the Chinese contractors, and it is said that therefore, he reprimanded the Pakistani soldiers. Whereas, it is being criticised that Major Shahzad closed the inquiry without interrogating the Chinese workers.
This is not the first incident of Chinese workers beating up the Pakistani soldiers. Incidents have been reported of Chinese workers beating up the Pakistani soldiers, dismissing the orders given by the Pakistan military and the local administration. But no actions have been taken against any of the Chinese workers involved in these incidents. Instead, the Pakistani soldiers had been insulted. It is being claimed that the displeasure in the Pakistani soldiers and people is rising because of the incidents of beating by the Chinese workers and more so as the senior officials choose to ignore the events. Pakistani analysts have claimed that if the situation continues, the Pakistani soldiers and the population will revolt against the Chinese workers at some point in time.
Meanwhile, accusations are rife that the corruption in the CPEC project is increasing, and the Chinese projects are collapsing even before they are completed. Criticism that the Chinese electric companies are charging astronomical tariffs to their customers is also being made. The Pakistan media is blaming the corruption in Pakistan for the situation. Pakistani analysts are warning that China is trying to devour Pakistan under the disguise of the CPEC project.