The first indication of what is waiting Pakistan for its blind support to China was the manner in which the European Union banned the country’s International Airlines from landing in Europe.
The Pakistan government is facing pressure on reviewing its China policy or risking the prospect of facing global isolation as well as condemnation along with China in the wake of China’s clash with India.
Informed sources revealed that the Foreign Office told Imran Khan’s PMO that if Pakistan did not do a quick course correction on its China relationship, it would face the wrath of the world’s key economic powers who were determined to isolate China consequent to the clash with India and China’s behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first indication of what awaits Pakistan for its support to China was the manner in which the EU banned the Pakistan National Airline PIA from landing in Europe. Pakistan has attempted to convince the EU that only internationally qualified pilots would be allowed to fly those routes but the EU refused to listen. The European countries are going to isolate China at the diplomatic level for its aggressive stance against India and Pakistani sources believe that Islamabad could face damage.
There has already been great anger against China in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan and in Gilgit Baltistan at the manner in which the country’s resources are being exploited by China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to the detriment of local people. The people of Gilgit Baltistan are denied local jobs, since Chinese companies would like to bring in cheap Chinese laborers to do the tasks. In addition, the Chinese companies are not mindful of local customs and traditions as well as have kept themselves aloof from local people and therefore, are viewed with suspicion.
It is also believed that China has usurped land in India and might do the same in forward areas in Pakistan. Getting swamped by China’s culture is a definite fear among the Gilgit-Baltistan people, who have emphasized their concern to some officials.