CPEC could turn into another East India Company: Pak lawmakers
Several Pakistani lawmakers have warned the government that the $46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could turn into another East India Company, if the country’s interests were not protected.
“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, said when some committee members raised the concern that the government was not protecting the rights and interests of the people.
The East India Company was the British trading mission sent to India, which became the precursor to the colonial presence in the subcontinent, eventually gaining power and overthrowing the Mughals, who ruled India at the time.
Following a briefing by Planning Commission Secretary Yousuf Nadeem Khokhar, 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.
Since only one of the three Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members of the committee was present at the meeting, most of the criticism went unanswered, the Dawn reported.
Even Senator Saeedul Hassan Mandokhail, the lone PML-N senator in attendance, endorsed the committee chairman s complaints.