Islamabad [Pakistan]: Amid the rising mistrust among Chinese investors over the safety and security of their projects in Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan ensured the country’s “all-weather ally” to support and protect its businesses on “priority basis.”
In a meeting between Khan and Chinese business delegation led by Chen Yan from Challenge Fashion (Pvt), he said, “We will support Chinese businesses in Pakistan on priority basis, and are grateful to them for their keen interest in accelerating their investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs)”, reported Geo News. The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to facilitate all Chinese investors, who are setting up industries in Pakistan, on an emergency basis by resolving their issues related to road connectivity and provision of utilities.
Khan also said that Pakistan and China haven’t just been connected in past and present, but will remain united through future generations, reported Geo News.
“Pakistan and China have been connected not only in the past or present, but will remain united through our future generations also. We appreciate the valuable relationship of the peoples of the two countries,” the Prime Minister maintained.
Earlier, a Chinese company had stopped work on the Dasu power project, being carried out in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Kohistan district, after at least 12 people, including nine Chinese workers, were killed on July 14 when a bus carrying them fell into a ravine following an explosion due to a suicide attack, Geo News reported.
Earlier, the PM was informed that Chinese businessmen are almost ready to start operations in glass, ceramics and information technology sectors.
Meanwhile, Sergio Restelli in Times of Israel said that cracks seem to have surfaced in the ‘higher than mountains’, ‘deeper than oceans’, between Pakistan and China, despite both the countries tout their friendship as unprecedented but the situation on the ground depicts it otherwise.
“The 62-billion-dollar economic corridor (CPEC) from Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar on the Arabian coast, has been hailed as people of Pakistan thought it would bring prosperity and riches for them. But now, it seems the CPEC is turning out to be an albatross around Pakistan’s neck. Since the day the deal was signed, questions have been raised about issues like lack of transparency, hidden terms and conditions of the loans offered, influx of Chinese labourers in Pakistan, mounting debt,” Sergio said in The Times of Israel.
The local populace in Pakistan also has been contesting such Chinese-led investment-oriented development strategies. Concerns about debt traps, lack of transparency, aggressive diplomacy, and friction due to excessive use of Chinese labour have often resulted in discord at the local level.