CPEC Is ‘Trafficking Corridor’ For Pakistani Christian Girls

The increased inflow of Chinese workers into Pakistan for projects related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has resulted in the country’s girls, especially from the minority Christian community, increasingly becoming targets of human trafficking to China, a media report said.

It has become very easy for Chinese workers to enter Pakistan. Many genuinely come to work. Some fall in love with Pakistani girls and marry them, which of course is not illegal. In other cases, Chinese men come to Pakistan with documents issued by non-existing companies and for false business purposes. They go to Pakistan only to buy a bride, a Brookings Institution report titled ‘Bride Trafficking along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ said.

Brides are sold for as low as $3,500 to $5,000, which is significant money for impoverished Pakistani families.

At the same time, due to the restrictions imposed by Sharia law in marriages in Pakistan, the process of marriage becomes difficult for non-muslim Chinese workers. Hence, bride trafficking focuses on Christian girls.

Christian activists reported that in the city of Gujranwala, Punjab, between 750 and 1,000 Christian girls were trafficked to Chinese men looking for brides in one year, the report said.

The trafficked girls do not speak Chinese and know nothing about Chinese culture. The report documents several instances of abuse, maltreatment, domestic violence and forced pregnancies.

In some cases, the report claims, there are sham marriages. The Chinese men do not even look for real wives, but for exotic women, they will force to work in China as prostitutes. The report also mentions that according to some unconfirmed accounts, Pakistani women are taken to China and killed to use their bodies for organ harvesting while noting that Chinese authorities “vehemently deny” such allegations.

Human traffickers, often with the complicity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officers, sell women to villagers affected by the shortage of brides resulting from the old draconian one-child policy. During the era of the one-child policy many families, particularly in rural areas, preferred a boy and aborted the girls, with the result that brides are now scarce in China.

Bride trafficking in China involves thousands of Pakistani women. While the Pakistani police have arrested some local organizers, Chinese “husbands” have been largely left alone. The report’s conclusion is that investigations have been suppressed for political reasons and trafficking is still growing.

Pakistani politicians value more their relationship with China than they value the fate of Pakistani women trafficked as brides, the more so when they come from religious minorities that are largely treated as if they included second-class citizens, the report said. (ANI)

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