India’s two neighbours – Pakistan and China – seem to have just got closer. After getting together on big-bang projects like China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Pakistani Senate has a motion to declare Mandarin as one of the official languages of the country.
The move is reportedly aimed at helping people connected with CPEC to communicate easily. According to the motion in Pakistan, the step was necessary in view of the country’s ties with China.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani tweeted: “In a short span of 70 years, Pakistan has flirted with promoting four languages that were not the mother tongue of many people in the country- English, Urdu, Arabic, and now Chinese — ignoring native languages.
Punjabi, which is widely spoken in Punjab province of Pakistan, Pashto and many other native languages have not been declared official languages of the country.
According to Dawn News, Pakistanis are more interested in learning the Chinese language than ever as they see the tides changing and expect that knowing Mandarin would mean more job opportunities in Pakistan and China.
This comes just three days after Pakistan contracted a foreign commercial loan of USD 500 million from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).
The Express Tribune had reported that with the new borrowing the Chinese financial institution’s contribution to supporting a strong rupee against the US dollar increased to USD 1 billion in just three months.
It was the second loan that the ICBC has given to Pakistan to support its diminishing foreign currency reserves, which are largely used to defend a strong rupee and finance the trade deficit.
The ICBC had also given USD 500 million in October last year.
Meanwhile, intelligence agencies in the US have warned President Donald Trump that Pakistan is increasingly slipping out of America’s grip and getting closer to China.
Seventeen US intelligence agencies have warned Congress that Pakistan will continue to slip out of America’s influence and into China’s orbit in 2019, and will become a threat to Washington’s interests in the South Asian region,” a report in Pakistan daily Dawn had said.
These 17 agencies include the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Security Agency (NSA), and several others.
The agencies warned Pakistan will continue to threaten US interests by “deploying new nuclear weapons capabilities, maintaining its ties to militants, restricting counterterrorism cooperation, and drawing closer to China.”