Chinese labourers beat up Pakistan soldiers as Saudi Arabia shuts oil tap

WION New Delhi Aug 10, 2020, 11.27 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

Most of the CPEC workers based in Pakistan belong to the Chinese military in one way or the other. They are trained in martial arts and weapon handling.

The China-Pakistan economic corridor(CPEC) for China is a geopolitical game-changer - the biggest success of Chinese expansionism, For Pakistan it is a life-time opportunity and its last chance for economic modernisation.

For the last six months, the multi-billion dollar project has been both a source of interest and concern even as there has been a global debate over its potential and problems.

Lieutenant colonel Imran Qasim, a Pakistani army officer in charge of the 27th wing of Pakistan army's special security division operates from Bahawalpur - a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. Recently, the colonel wrote a letter to his seniors which has now been leaked. The letter talked about a scuffle between Chinese labourers and Pakistani soldiers.

As per the letter, the incident occurred on July 21. A protection party of six Pakistan army soldiers was tasked to look after the security of four Chinese labourers. The group also comprised two Chinese civilians. The team was working on CPEC's mainline that links Karachi and Peshawar. The leader of the team insisted on moving to the next project site and leaving one  Chinese labourer behind but he couldn't quite convince Pakistan soldiers who weren't too keen on leaving the Chinese worker alone.

As per the letter, there was no translator present so the Pakistan army representative, havaldar Asad Ullah decided to call the military camp to obtain an approval but before he could make the call the havaldar was assaulted. He was hit on the head twice and within a matter of time the other Chinese labourers joined in and an-all out scuffle broke out.

The entire episode was detailed in the letter by colonel Imran Qasim but the letter and the entire incident was brushed below the carpet. The army high command ordered the soldiers to disengage and to avoid any such physical altercations in the future because the Pakistan army have been instructed not to confront the Chinese in any manner no matter how serious the level of escalation and no matter the reckless behaviour of Chinese workers.

In fact, a video from 2018 shows Chinese engineers thrashing Pakistani policemen. The cause of the scuffle is somewhat similar. The engineers were barred from leaving their camps without a security squad and they decided to ask why not through a fist-fight.

The Chinese engineer decided to stand on the bonnet of a police vehicle printed with the flag of Pakistan. The image depicts the reality of CPEC more than words ever could.

Most of the CPEC workers based in Pakistan belong to the Chinese military in one way or the other. They are trained in martial arts and weapon handling. It probably explains why they can't restrain themselves from a clash.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has turned off the oil tap for Pakistan. Riyadh has halted the provision of "oil on loan" for Islamabad. In 2018, Pakistan had borrowed $6.2 billion in loan from Saudi Arabia out of this $3 billion was debt relief in the form of cash and the remaining $3.2 billion was the worth of oil Riyadh had decided to provide Islamabad annually.

The provision expired two months ago and Saudi Arabia hasn't renewed it, instead, it has forced Pakistan to pay $1 billion from the cash loan it had secured.

Clearly, the sheikhdom is quite miffed with the Pakistan PM and his endless obsession with Kashmir but Imran Khan is the very substitute of the word adamant and he has realised that the Arabs won't do his bidding at global platforms, so, he is turning to the wannabe torch-bearer of the Islamic world.

Turkey, Islamabad and Ankara are strengthening their strategic cooperation and coordinating diplomatically on global platforms. Pakistan has managed to secure a visit by the president-elect of the UN general assembly ambassador Volkan Bozkir. He landed in Islamabad earlier and was received by the Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Ambassador Bozkir later sat down for extensive talks with Pak foreign ministry officials and then he even called upon the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

According to the Pak foreign ministry, Imran Khan apprised the to-be UNGA chief about the "serious situation of Kashmir", an issue that was on agenda of the UN security council for over seven decades.

The president-elect of the UN General Assembly happens to be from Turkey. He was born in Turkey, raised in Turkey and has served the Turkish government as a diplomat and negotiator. He is now going to be the president of the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations and he is currently in Pakistan.