Baloch movement says CPEC is only benefitting Punjab province

CPEC China Pakistan Gilgit-Baltistan

Maulana Hidayatur Rahman, the leader of the "Give Rights to Gwadar" movement, alleged that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had become a China-Punjab corridor and Balochistan, on another side, is only receiving disappointment, local media reported.

Rahman said that even the borders and the seas have been forbidden for the Baloch people. He further added that this is the reason that people revolted against the state as they were extremely disappointed with the federation.

Balochistan is facing all sorts of problems despite being the largest province with the most natural resources and the people of Balochistan are suffering from poverty and hunger. People of Balochistan are not getting any benefit from CPEC and they are living in their own nation as strangers.

While the Pakistani administration maintains the false belief that the Chinese-fuelled 'development' in Balochistan will benefit the local population, the sad reality is that these protests saw locals demanding basic necessities, such as livelihood, clean drinking water and basic health facilities which they continue to be deprived of, reported vernacular media.

Many groups in Pakistan, both ethnic and religious, continue to suffer due to neglect from political and government indifference.

The leaders acknowledged the growing menace of drug addiction amongst the younger generation. They criticized the government for its failure to adopt any preventive strategy against drugs.

In the past year, the protest against CPEC has intensified. Last year in August, people burned tires, chanted slogans, and shut down Pakistan's port city of Gwadar, protesting against China's illegal fishing in nearby waters and the CPEC project which is a part of President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, stretching across 70 countries in the world, Asian Lite reported.

In July, nine Chinese workers were killed when a vehicle laden with explosives and driven by a suicide attacker rammed the bus in which they were travelling towards the Dasu Hydropower project in the Upper Kohistan area of Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

China's ambassador to Pakistan, Nong Rong escaped unhurt, yet five people were killed and 12 others injured when a suicide bomb attack was carried out at a luxury hotel in Pakistan's Quetta in April 2021.

In July 2020, a huge protest erupted in Muzaffarabad of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir against China, condemning it for the illegal construction of Neelum Jhelum and Kohala Hydropower stations. The protestors highlighted the environmental impacts of dams constructed by China under the CPEC initiative, Asian Lite reported.

Even in November 2020, thousands of Pakistani labourers staged a protest against China in Karachi, complaining about unequal wages received by them as compared to Chinese workers involved in CPEC projects.

According to the International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), CPEC was sold to the people of GB as a landmark project to uplift their lives and infrastructure, but it has in fact deepened their colonial subjugation.

More importantly, the implementation of the project constitutes an illegal encroachment on territory that is legally a part of the Indian Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

Currently, one consequence of the imperialist conquest of GB by China has been natural resource exploitation and infrastructural development by Chinese companies in GB, whose primary beneficiary has been the Pakistani military, reported IFFRAS. This has come at a cost to local livelihood and environmental sustainability.

China's economic expansionist programme aimed at conquering a key geographical location lying at the heart of Central Asia, India and China, i.e., Gilgit Baltistan (GB) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has led to several attacks on Chinese nationals.

Indications are clear that Pakistan has become a killing field for Chinese nationals and no amount of their security is foolproof as Beijing wants it to be. (ANI)