Badly dependent on Chinese loans and investments to shore up its sagging economy, Pakistan endorsed all the acts of human rights violation by China, said a media report.
Di Valerio Fabbri, writing in Geopolitica.info said China's all-weather ally Pakistan has given a decent burial to its own Muslim identity to support Beijing in the Uyghur issue, as well as in Hong Kong and Tibet.
Earlier, in an interview with CNN while the Winter Olympics was on, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, turned a blind eye to the suppression of Muslims of the Uyghur community in China and said the situation in the Uyghur Autonomous Region was not what the Western media portrayed, Fabbri said.
Following a meeting between Imran Khan and President of China Xi Jinping in Beijing, a joint declaration said, "The Pakistan side expressed its 'commitment to One - China Policy' and support for China on Taiwan, South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinxiang and Tibet."
Pakistan endorsed all the acts of human rights violation by China even as 243 global groups called for action against China over human rights violations on the eve of the Winter Olympics, Fabbri said.
"The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will open amid atrocity, crimes and other grave human rights violations by the Chinese government, 243 NGOs from around the world said today," said the Human Rights Watch in a recent statement last January, Geopolitica.info reported.
While talking to a group of visiting Chinese journalists in Islamabad, however, Imran Khan revealed the real reason behind his endorsement of the oppression by China of fellow Muslims in Xinxiang. The Chinese version was completely different from what was appearing in the western media he acknowledged.
"Because of our extreme proximity and relationship with China, we actually accept the Chinese version," he said, as quoted in Dawn newspaper.
Imran Khan, the self-proclaimed champion of the Islamic causes, has no way but to support China's suppression of Uyghur Muslims in Xinxiang. Caught in the web of Belt and Road Initiative and with growing dependence on China for economic aid, leaders in Pakistan have no option but to publicly support China's policies, even oppression of fellow Muslims, Geopolitica.info reported.
Khan in his visit to Beijing for the Winter Olympics committed to the Chinese to strengthen the flagship BRI project in China, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is facing several problems in Pakistan. Common people in Pakistan are unhappy with CPEC for issues like forcible land acquisition, inadequate compensation and the overbearing presence of the military in public life.
Khan during his visit to Beijing also signed an agreement with China to begin the second phase of the CPEC; and in the bargain endorsed China's oppression of fellow Uyghur Muslims. Though Imran Khan before coming to power was a critic of CPEC because of the secrecy surrounding it and unequal priorities in investment, leaving some provinces of Pakistan neglected.
Imran Khan's party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, when in opposition, had demanded complete transparency in CPEC investments, Geopolitica.info reported.
Dawn, too, in an editorial had demanded greater transparency in Chinese financing of CPEC projects.
US-based international development research lab AidData said in a report in 2021 that a substantial chunk of Chinese development financing under the CPEC consisted not of grants but loans at or near commercial rates, Geopolitica.info reported.
About half of this so-called development finance was in the form of export buyers' credit, money lent by Chinese institutions to Pakistan for purchase of equipment and goods to be bought by Chinese companies partnering in the implementation of projects.
The details of these lending do not appear in books of the Pakistan government, Geopolitica.info reported.