An Amsterdam based think tank has predicted that Pakistan will end up being a colony of China. The European Foundation for South Asian Studies (EFSAS), a think tank based out of Amsterdam, said in an article that Pakistan faces the danger of being colonized by China. The article further states that the ‘all weather friend’ of Pakistan is using China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as an instrument to colonize the country just as British used the East India Company to colonize the country. As per the article “the ultimate aim of the CPEC project is to ensure deep Chinese penetration of Pakistani institutions leading up to a situation where Pakistan eventually turns into a colony dependent on China for its day-to-day survival.”
The article also noted the socio-cultural friction between the Pakistani society and the Chinese people working there. The Chinese people working in Pakistan are westernized in their traits and they are also atheist. On the other hand, majority of the people in Pakistan are devout Muslims and see westernization and modernization as sin. There has been many reports about Pakistani people objecting to the way Chinese women workers dress. Pakistan government has tried to convince its people of avoiding the cultural traits of Chinese official because the Chinese government has given huge loans to the country but the defiance of the people against Chinese culture remains the same. The Pakistani government needs to understand that how different its people are from Chinese people and these differences could not be bridged with the power of money.
Pakistan’s economy is already in shambles, no one is sure that it will be able to pay the huge loans China has provided to them. Pakistan has already defaulted on the previous loans given to them by Chinese but China keeps investing in the country because they want to counter India through Pakistan. On the CPEC, the article states “The Chinese master plan conceives a picture where the majority of Pakistani socio-economic sectors are deeply penetrated by Chinese companies and Chinese culture; thus, Islamabad puts itself at risk of facing its finances and societal structure experiencing a colossal wreck. The combination of high upfront tariffs, interest rates, and surcharges will complicate Pakistan’s efforts to repay its loans, forcing the state to increase its domestic and export prices, making it difficult to compete with neighboring and other countries which maintain lower prices. The borrower is always servant to the lender. The 15-year (CPEC) mega project illuminates how Pakistan voluntarily is becoming progressively subjugated by China and its terms and conditions.”
The fate of Pakistan in CPEC will be no different from that of Sri Lanka in Hambantota port on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. At the end of 2017, Sri Lanka was struggling to pay the debt to Chinese firms and in return, they have leased the Hambantota port to them. Chinese firms are developing infrastructure throughout Asia, Africa, and Europe under the One Belt One Road (OBOR) program of the Chinese government. When the countries will not be able to repay the loans for the infrastructure projects, Chinese firms will take over them the same manner as in Sri Lanka. The OBOR project is being used as foreign policy tool of China to colonize the countries across the continents. India has consistently refused to be a part of OBOR project, addressing the concerns of India on OBOR PM Modi said “Connectivity with the neighboring countries is India’s priority. We welcome the connectivity projects which are sustainable and efficient and which respect territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries.” The CPEC, which is part of OBOR, passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir, therefore it violates the sovereignty of India. Pakistan needs to understand that the Chinese dragon is friend to no one. It looks only for its benefits in any deal. Chinese companies will colonize the country through CPEC and exploit its people for their profit.