Imran Khan – Mannequin in Cheongsam

From a proud Niazi Pashtun cricketer-turned-politicians heading Pakistan Teherek-e-Insaf (PTI) opposed to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Imran Khan’s elevation to Prime Minister by the army has transformed him into a sniveling cover begging loans while Pakistani Generals mortgage their country’s sovereignty. When former wife Rehan Khan disclosed Imran’s penchant for narcotics and sleeping with men, the joke circulating was Xi Jinping would gift him a Chinese boy as company to wife Bushra Bibi. It is no secret that Pakistan’s foreign and defence policies are dictated by Army Chief General QJ Bajwa who holds total power. The focus on Bajwa instead of Imran in presence of foreign dignitaries is a humorous sight. This insecurity prevents Imran to follow etiquettes expected of prime ministers at international forums. Bajwa actively worked for US-NATO exit from Afghanistan and accompanied Imran to White House in July 2019.

Bajwa directs Imran where to beg loans – China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, IMF, World Bank, whatever. Bajwa in turn takes orders from Beijing. Imran just achieved the feat of borrowing another US$ 1 billion from China to prematurely return this amount to Saudi Arabia; part of US$6.2 billion borrowed from Saudi Arabia in 2018. The loan package included a provision under which Saudi Arabia granted Pakistan US$3.2 billion worth of oil a year on deferred payments which expired two months ago. Saudi Arabia had refused to call a OIC meet on Kashmir. On Beijing’s behest, China is now trying to split OIC for Turkey to replace Saudi Arabia in lead role. China’s strategic interests in Iran are overtaking China-Saudi relations. For similar reason Imran was stitching Turkey-Pakistan-Malaysia Islamist anti-India nexus despite India being home to 10.9% world’s Muslims after Indonesia (12.7%) and Pakistan (11%) – a move that cost Malaysia’s Mahatir Mohammad his premiership. Erdogan though turning Turkey into Islamic caliphate is extraditing Uighurs to China same as Imran in Pakistan.

In 2019 Pakistan’s GDP growth rate was estimated to be 3.3% for 2020 and 2.4% for 2021 – lowest in a decade. But now Pakistan’s real growth rate for 2020 has been projected by the World Bank to go into the negative, between minus 1.3% and minus 2.2%. Pakistan’s total external debt stands at US$ 111 billion which includes US$27 billion to multilateral donors, US$22 billion to China, US$12 billion to international bonds and US$11.3 billion plus to the Paris Club.

On August 5, 2020 Pakistan approved its costliest project to date of the CPEC, giving China the go ahead for a US$ 6.8 billion to upgrade its 2,655km railway lines. A week later on May 13, Pakistan signed a 442 billion Pakistani rupees deal with China for construction of the Daimler Bhasha Dam on the Indus River in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK). China is more than happy extracting its price in strategic terms. In 2012, US and regional Pakistani media had reported Pakistani plan to lease Gilgit-Baltistan to China for 50 years. No matter how deeper Pakistan plunges into Chinese debt while Pakistani Generals get richer, posterity will blame Imran Khan for acting Beijing’s poodle wearing a Cheongsam.

A brigade-sized PLA presence 14 km from Skardu has been in news past few years. Recent reports indicate China is likely to announce a military base in Pakistan which could be in Gilgit-Baltistan (POK). Gwadar Port has been handed over to a Chinese company for 49 years and businesses in Gwadar Special Economic Zone made tax exempt for 23 years. Muttahida Qaumi Movement lleader Altaf Hussain recently announced, “Pakistan Army and ISI along with China have completed its nefarious design to declare Karachi a federal territory to usurp its resources”. This reinforces prophecy by Pakistani army veteran Agha Amin who wrote in 2005, “There is no doubt that Pakistan will be a semi autonomous Chinese province by 2030 or so. Pakistani Baluchistan by 2030 would be a completely Chinese run show”. China has been actively supporting genocide of Pakistan army in Balochistan and has even gifted Pakistan attack helicopters to kill Balochis.

Pakistan army’s pathological hatred towards India for loss of East Pakistan led Bajwa to appoint another Bajwa (Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa) as Imran’s special assistant for information and broadcasting, possibly also due to Beijing frustrated effort to raise Kashmir issue at the UN again. The two Bajwas perhaps pumped Imran with Carfentanil giving him a sheet and crayons to let his imagination run wild. So Imran came up with a new political map of Pakistan that includes India’s two Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir as also Junagadh in Gujarat State. A midway kick by Bajwas made him add Sir Creek where China is developing a SEZ in close proximity. Presently, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is attacking Pakistani security forces for turning Pakistan into China’s doormat and has called on jihadists groups to join them fight Pakistan. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi along with associates has joined TTP. Imran is wondering if they are unhappy with China’s genocide against Uighurs. Himself he can hardly squeak against Beijing’s treatment of Uighurs. Concurrently the Baloch Liberation Army and the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army are fighting for their own independence.

Prakash Katoch is third generation army officer hailing from Himachal Pradesh. He is former Lieutenant General from Special Forces and post-retirement has published over 2100 articles on international affairs, geopolitics, military, security, technical and topical issues besides authoring two books. He is active in seminars at both national and international levels.

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