Gwadar Colony

CTHRXMsWIAAIr2HThe loud slapping sound you heard yesterday was not a cracker, it was the sound of millions of simultaneous facepalms when news broke of a new proposal to require visa for Pakistanis to travel to Gwadar…in Pakistan. Even though some were shocked by the news, the move was immediately appreciated by those like Ahmed Quraishi.

He explained his approval by comparing to other cities requiring entry visas like Hong Kong and Macau.

Giving credit where it is due, Ahmed Quraishi might have a point this time. After all, both Hong Kong and Macau required entry visa because they were foreign controlled colonies. Hong Kong was a Chinese city controlled by the British Empire, and Macau was a Chinese city under control of the Portuguese Empire.

In an official ceremony tomorrow, Pakistani authorities will formally hand over 2,281 acres of Gwadar to China. The Chinese will have formal control over this part of Pakistan, and Pakistan will provide extra security to Chinese citizens to protect them from Pakistanis.

There is strong belief that these are the necessary steps to develop Balochistan and save the nation’s economy. Maybe that is true. But even if it is true, we should be willing to submit to this without pretending that it is something other than what it is…colonisation.

Chinese Riches, Pakistani Dreams

China Pakistan BillboardChinese President Ki Jinping left as quickly as he arrived, but not before inking deals worth $46 billion – an eye popping sum. For Pakistan, this investment promises to deliver critical energy and infrastructure projects. This is a huge achievement for Nawaz Sharif, who had been facing concerns that the nation’s energy crisis could bring about the government’s premature demise. The Chinese premier’s visit and the important investments that he brought have received high praise and appreciation, and deservedly so. However we should not allow our gratitude get in the way of our ability to think rationally. Once the excitement wears off, do we know what we’re really getting?

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