Shahbaz Gill’s remarks on Chinese investment draws ire on social media
A video of Shahbaz Gill, special assistant to the prime minister on political communication, in which he is seen criticising the colossal Chinese investment arriving in Pakistan amid the much-debated $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has attracted major flak on social media.
Chinese investment on CPEC projects, part of Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has been a matter of debate since its inflow began following the inauguration of initial projects in Gwadar in 2016.
“Is Chinese investment beneficial for Pakistan? Being a business professor, I would say no, not at all” Gill says in his speech which appears to be delivered at a seminar.
“Chinese culture is very different. I love China too. I’m not saying I’m against China […] but [they possess a] very different culture.”
“The way you see things very differently. The way you see society is very differently,” he further says, adding: “Pakistanis do not know anything about Chinese culture at all.”
“They know more about [the] US or any other European country than China. So, in any way, they are not ready to engage in that business or in that trade [sic].”
According to Gill, the speech was delivered in December 2017 at a conference that also had PTI leader Asad Umar and anchorperson Dr Moeed Pirzada in attendance.
The PM’s aide further said that some people were using the cherry-picked snippet to give the matter a wrong impression.
The video also earned retweets from secretary general of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Ahsan Iqbal and Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairperson Mushahid Hussain Syed, who termed the video as “shocking” and “unacceptable”.
Newspaper: Pakistan Today