Pakistani Daily Forced to Delete News About China’s New Demand

By A Coreespondent
(File photo)

A leading Pakistani newspaper was forced to take down an exclusive report which claimed that China has demanded of Islamabad to launch another military operation against terrorist groups, including the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

Citing unnamed sources in the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, English language daily Business Recorder said China had requested Islamabad to focus on improving foreign exchange reserves, clearing payments of Independent Power Producers (IPPs), and initiating the ML-1 project in a phased manner on a pilot basis. These demands were communicated weeks before the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Beijing, with the aim of garnering support for the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and addressing various concerns of Chinese financial institutions.

Business Recorder removed the story soon after publishing it on its website. However, many social media users saved the story and posted it on X (formerly Twitter). “The military junta most likely forced BR to delete the story,” wrote X user Pakistan Walli.

Pakistan has witnessed an unprecedented crackdown on dissent, free speech and independent media. The country’s intelligence agencies, especially the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence, are being accused of orchestrating massive human rights violations, forced disappearances, and political victimization, especially targetting members of the opposition Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf of former prime minister Imran Khan. The military has consistently denied these allegations, despite its generals’ non-stop political statements and press conferences.

According to the now deleted Business Recorder story, during a recent official visit to China by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, discussions were held with top Chinese officials, including the Vice Foreign Minister and heads of various Chinese agencies.

Chinese officials emphasized the strategic importance of projects such as ML-1 and KKH Realignment Phase-II, highlighting the need for timely implementation and addressing financial considerations. The Chinese side also expressed concerns about outstanding payments to Chinese IPPs and the safety and security of Chinese nationals working in Pakistan.

In light of recent security incidents, particularly the attack near Swat that resulted in the loss of Chinese lives, China has underscored the importance of launching a comprehensive operation against terrorist forces such as TTP, Majeed Bridge, BLA, and others. The Chinese Vice Foreign Minister emphasized the need for enhanced security measures and cooperation between Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan to combat terrorism effectively.

China also stressed the importance of reviving trilateral mechanisms between the three countries for better coordination on anti-terrorism efforts. The Chinese authorities have urged the Afghan government to improve governance, promote economic growth, and address the threat of terrorism emanating from terrorist organizations in the region.

However, China has reaffirmed its commitment to strategic projects in Pakistan, including the Multi-Mission Satellite (MM-1) and the ML-1 project, while emphasizing the need for timely and effective implementation. The Chinese financial institutions have expressed readiness to engage in joint financing and support Pakistan in addressing various challenges to ensure the success of bilateral projects and initiatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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