The Pakistani State Department has warned Prime Minister Imran Khan against the country’s support to China, saying it will face isolation on a global scale. Recently, at the behest of China, Pakistan increased the deployment of its troops along the Line of Control (LoC) with India near the Line of Actual Control (LoAC) in Ladakh beyond which lie territories under Chinese occupation.
The Pakistani State Department is of the opinion that China is facing international criticism due to the conflict with India and its handling of the global pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID). In such a situation, if Pakistan does not review its policies with China, it will invite the ire of the world’s economic superpowers. These superpowers are working to isolate China globally after the confrontation with India, it told Khan.
Many countries of Europe, including the US, are openly opposing China’s expansionist policies and dogma. Pakistan, which has historically backed China, suffered its first setback when the European Union and the United Kingdom banned Pakistani Airlines flights. Pakistan did its best to convince the European countries that it had qualified pilots but these countries did not change their decision.
There is fierce opposition not only to China at the global level but also in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and Gilgit-Baltistan. Citizens here allege that the local population did not receive employments in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while both the allies are exploiting the resources of this area. They say CPEC is attracting cheap labour from China to work in this project to the detriment of Pakistan. “China is not even respecting the traditions of this place,” lamented a citizen of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said, “There is a tradition between the two countries to support each other in the face of similar challenges.” Qureshi spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over the phone last evening — amid the India-China border dispute — on the situation on the LoAC.
Pakistan has again supported the ‘One China’ policy. It said it supported China “in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang”. On the other hand, Prime Minister Imran Khan, starting his manoeuvres, has called a meeting of top military and intelligence officials to discuss what would be the Pakistani agenda in the India-China border dispute.