BP International Desk
Several lawmakers from Pakistan have warned the rulers against getting too much involved with China, apprehending the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could turn into another East India Company if the country’s interests were not actively protected.
The East India Company was the British trading mission sent to India, which ultimately became the precursor to the British colonial presence in the subcontinent, eventually gaining power and ruling the nation for close to 200 years.
“Another East India Company is in the offing; national interests are not being protected. We are proud of the friendship between Pakistan and China, but the interests of the state should come first,” Senator Tahir Mashhadi, chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development, was quoted as saying in Pakistan’s leading newspaper “Dawn” today.
According to the paper, a number of committee members voiced their fears over what they perceived as the utilisation of local financing for CPEC projects, instead of funding from the Chinese or any other foreign investment. They also expressed concern over the fixing of power tariff for CPEC-related power projects by the Chinese.
“It will be very harmful for us if we have to bear the entire burden; will this [project] be a national development or a national calamity? Whatever loans taken from China will have to be paid by the poor people of Pakistan,” another lawmaker Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail observed.
Yet annother lawmaker said Gadani power plant which China claims to be a part of the Corridor would only benefit the Chinese and Punjab governments, not the local community, according to the paper.