SHOCKING! Pakistan shuts down Chinese business establishments as it can’t afford security expenses


Chinese President XI Jinping and his Pakistani Excellency
Image Source : AP/INDIA TV Chinese President XI Jinping and his Pakistani Excellency Shehbaz Sharif

Pakistan, which has been reeling under massive Chinese debt, has reportedly shut down several business establishments run by Chinese nationals as it failed to afford security for them. 

According to a report by Nikkei Asia, the major development came nearly a month after China “temporarily” closed the consular section of its embassy in Islamabad amid security concerns. Also, it had warned its citizens to either refrain or remain cautious while visiting the most terrorist-affected nation.

The report also claimed that the Chinese officials warned  Islamabad to provide adequate security to their citizens and undo their step to shut down business establishments. Despite the stern alarm, Pakistan went ahead with action.

Pakistan forcing China to pardon its loan

Interestingly, some reports suggest that Islamabad is indirectly pressuring Beijing to pardon its massive loan from China or extend deadlines to avoid the impending default.

Notably, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistani the then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif unveiled the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Belt and Road Initiative’s (BRI) “flagship project” and its most ambitious undertaking in any single country. Initially, both countries touted it as a”transformative” and “hope of better region of the future with peace, development and growth of the economy”, but soon it became a major disaster for Pakistan as it was a “debt-trap”. 

Anti-China sentiments soar due to CPEC projects

Although a large number of Pakistani citizens secured jobs in the project, anti-China sentiments rosed tremendously after the Imran Khan government came into power and the country slipped into an economic crisis.

Since then, several Chinese nationals were killed and many were still untraceable. 

In January, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang expressed displeasure with his Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. According to Pakistani media, Gang said he was very concerned about the safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan. “We hope that the Pakistani side will continue to take strong security measures,” he told Bhutto. Interestingly, most killings were reported in Sindh province– which is ruled by Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

According to media reports, Karachi police took measures to seal off some Chinese businesses due to intelligence alerts indicating possible attacks in mid-March.

One report quoted local officials, “Despite repeated warnings, several Chinese-owned businesses failed to implement security protocols, leading to their sealing until satisfactory security arrangements are made,” reported Nikkei Asia.

Also Read: Pakistan PM security lapse: Afghan man intrudes into Shehbaz Sharif’s house; arrested

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