India’s malevolence against China, Pakistan & Sri-Lanka
THE Times of India” in its 30 July edition, based on inputs from its agencies, has published a malicious Op-Ed titled “Fair-weather ally? How Sri Lanka, Pakistan fell into Chinese ‘debt trap’”
In typical Chanakyan fashion, New Delhi has launched a broadside against all three in one salvo; lighting the fire itself and then blaming others.
The article surreptitiously surmises that “From exacerbating the bankruptcy of Sri Lanka to leaving Pakistan with staggering debt, China has been a silent orchestrator of the economic crisis that has engulfed the two South Asian countries.
For many years, experts have been warning low- and middle-income countries against China’s ‘debt-trap’ diplomacy.
Yet, with the help of friendly government heads and the lure of big-ticket investments, China managed to bag billions of dollars worth of projects under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in vulnerable countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
But the result of years of unsustainable loans has now come back to haunt these struggling economies which are on the verge of collapse unless the International Monetary Fund (IMF) comes to their rescue.
While the crisis in Pakistan and Sri Lanka has been a result of several factors — from misgovernance to the Covid-19 pandemic — there is little doubt that China’s lending also played its part.”
To nail the lies, let us take the case of Sri Lanka first. Dr. Shastra Dutta Pant, renowned Nepalese Author, in his book “Machinations of RAW in South Asia” reveals that after dismembering East Pakistan and gobbling up Sikkim, RAW turned its attention towards subjugating Sri Lanka.
India stoked the fires of insurgency in the Tamils, provided training, weapons and funds to the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), sponsored the criminal militant Velupillai Prabhakaran to lead them.
In 1987, India launched its armed forces in Sri Lanka under the garb of peacekeeping with the plea that the civil war threatened India’s “unity, national interest and territorial integrity.
” It was now wary of the Frankenstein that it had created—LTTE—would liberate the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Unable to achieve its heinous aims, India withdrew its forces in 1990. The main reason why India did not succeed then, unlike its victory in Bangladesh, was that East and West Pakistan were located 1600 Kilometers apart, separated by hostile Indian territory, which was fully exploited by India.
The Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009 with Pakistani forces also chipping in for which India did not forgive Sri Lanka.
Because of its strategic location, India continued to interfere in Sri Lanka attempting to install pro-India governments.
When war ravaged Sri Lanka welcomed China’s BRI, much to the chagrin of New Delhi, RAW came into action to wreak havoc.
Ample evidence is available, linking RAW to the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks killing 253 people and injuring 500 at churches and top-end hotels across Sri Lanka.
The deadly attacks badly affected the mainstay of Sri Lanka’s economy—tourism.
Covid-19, corruption and nepotism of the ousted rulers—the Rajapaksa Brothers aggravated the rout.
The venomous article mentions that Hambantota port and Rajapaksa airport, near the home of the ousted Rajapaksa clan, built through Chinese funding, are eating dust.
The reason is obvious, the financial bungling of the Rajapaksas coupled with RAW’s clandestine operations caused the rot, not Chinese debts.
The article spitefully states that in the case of Pakistan, only three of the 15 projects in Gwadar have been completed.
Some Indian dailies, which started the propaganda, were quoted by a few Pakistani media and then by the current regime to disparage the previous one.
In truth, there have been some delays due to COVID-19 and terror attacks but majority of the projects, including the Pakistan-China friendship hospital comprising 300 beds, Gwadar East bay expressway, laying of pipelines from Swad Dam to Gwadar, completion of Ankara Kaur and Shadi Dams will be completed in 2022.
The socio-economic projects including linking Gwadar to the national electricity grid; provision of water to Gwadar city from nearby dams; establishment of University of Gwadar and Gwadar Safe City project and certain other projects in the socio-economic domain are also on the verge of completion.
All of the planned and ongoing infrastructure projects in Gwadar Port and Free Zone are expected to be completed by 2025.
These achievements were despite Indian machinations of impeding CPEC through planting senior RAW operative Commander Kulbhoshan Jadhav and his accomplices, who are now in Pakistan’s custody, sponsoring and financing Baloch Liberation Army et-al.
Concerning the loans to Pakistan, most of the funding is either through Chinese entrepreneurs or Chinese Banks at extremely low interest rates with a cushion period to repay them.
CPEC projects are fully transparent and involve zero hidden loans. All projects are Nepra (National Electric Power Regulatory Authority) and NHA (National Highway Authority) approved.
Their respective websites display capital costs of all projects, including Chinese financing. India’s criticism of China, BRI, CPEC and Pakistan is a case of sour grapes.
Indian journalist and columnist, Akash Podishetti, in his Op-Ed titled: ‘Why have Special economic zones (SEZ) not taken off in India? ’ published in the July 7, 2022 issue of “Business Standard”, lets the cat out of the bag. He reveals that even though the exports from Indian SEZs increased to Rs 7.
59 trillion in FY21 from just Rs 22,840 crore in FY06, it was nowhere close to the success achieved by China.
Indian malevolence aside, the support that China gave to both Sri Lanka and Pakistan during the tribulation of COVID-19 is exemplary.
—The Author is a Retired Group Captain of PAF, who has written several books on China.