Chinese President Xi Jinping is all set to sideline the democratically elected representatives and civil servants of debt-ridden Pakistan to expand his direct influence over the political and economic processes of the country, according to Hong Kong-based Asia Times.
The Chinese President is now all set to unleash the hapless Pakistani government and Army to expand the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) influence over Pakistan.
"Since 2016, Xi, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China has been forcing the Pakistani establishment to put pressure on the government (it was Nawaz Sharif's government back then) to sideline the Planning Ministry's role in the implementation and monitoring of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)," the opinion piece observed and went on to explain that "Xi pushed for the creation of a supra-constitutional CPEC Authority that would freelance the management of the predatory infrastructure and power-generation projects under his direct command".
"The proposal was rejected then, but last year it was again presented before Prime Minister Imran Khan. The reason given was timely completion of the projects," the article said.
Calling Pakistan Prime Minister 'full-fledged puppet' of the military establishment, the news platform said that it was easier of Xi to manipulate the Pakistani law to fulfil his "desire to take over the Planning Ministry of Pakistan and in future the country itself."
It was not a surprise when retired army general Asim Bajwa was appointed as Chairman of the newly created China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA) in November 2019.
The CPECA itself was established in October 2019 through an Ordinance thereby proofing itself from public scrutiny, since it gave sweeping powers to the Authorities.
According to a report in Dawn, opposition parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have already rejected the CPECA and termed it as a violation of recommendations of the concerned Parliamentary Committee.
The supra-constitutional CPEC Authority will act as the CCP's subsidiary in Pakistan and will be responsible for conceiving, implementing, expanding, enforcing, controlling, regulating, coordinating, monitoring, evaluating and carrying out all activities related to the CPEC.
Furthermore, it will have the constitutional power to initiate an investigation and impose penalties against any public office holder (including the Prime Minister and President of Pakistan) or any other person who is directly or indirectly engaged in CPEC-related activities who wilfully resist directions, instructions or specified orders of the CPEC Authority.
Even the Prime Minister's powers will be limited to what is specified in the CPEC Authority Bill 2020. So he too will have to obey Xi's commands.
Xi doesn't want the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or any of its components to be held accountable or face resistance.
"He knows that his Chinese Dream of indoctrination of a majority of free people of the world by 2050 will not be fulfilled if the people of the countries victimised by the BRI come to know about his strategy to destroy their futures and those of their future generations," read the Asia Times opinion piece.
The truth is that he is burdening those countries in debt traps while they are already suffering from intense balance-of-payments crises. Xi will slowly poison Pakistan and other poor economies by creating extreme shortages of foreign-exchange reserves. In the end, these countries will have to accept the invasion of their political and economic systems by the Communist Party of China.
The rot in the Pakistani system has the potential to manifest itself in many ways. Recently, it was reported that 60 Pakistan Army officers, including three Generals, were dismissed for planning to mount a coup. The official reason cited for their dismissal was frivolous - using smartphones for encrypted chat.
The dissent in the Pakistani Army is now visible, primarily due to involvement of the military in commercial ventures with consequential squabbling over Military Business Companies (MILBUS) contracts for CPEC.
The national debt of USD 80 billion on account CPEC is bound to pose a danger to the sovereignty of Pakistan in coming years; as has been the CCP methodology in numerous under-developed countries.
Till then, the CCP will maintain a facade of Pakistan-China friendship whilst continuing to exploit Pakistan and market outdated items from its industries to Pakistan. Pakistan's debt burden is also being pushed up by the CCP on every available opportunity.
"In the end, these countries will have to accept the invasion of their political and economic systems by the Communist Party of China," as per the Asia Times.