Perils of investment



Apparently a human rights issue is falling prey to the diktats of diplomacy. There are two diametrically opposite positions being taken on the issue of human trafficking involving Pakistan and China. Amid extensive crackdown again Chinese citizens involved in the act by Pakistani authorities, an official Chinese investigation rubbishes the claims that Pakistani women who stay in China after marriage with Chinese nationals were forced into prostitution or sale of human organs.

The Pakistani foreign office urges caution on the matter to avoid sensationalisation while assuring the populace that the two countries will be working closely to address the grievances of the affected individuals and ensure that such incidents do not recur.

All that is fine but to an objective eye, there is no sensationalism to the issue. The media is reporting what is happening on ground. There are people of flesh and blood affected by it. It is an everyday reality that for the last couple of years number of Chinese people has increased in our streets. And our media has been gleefully airing news of marriages between the nationals of two countries. It is only lately that Faisalabad, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi have busted quite a few gangs who in cahoots with local agents and influentials were allegedly involved in the ‘marriage’ business.

While Pakistani authorities in coordination with their Chinese counterparts devise a mechanism to put a stop to human smuggling and ensure due punishment for those involved in this heinous crime, there is little wisdom in hushing up a matter that is now out in the open. And there are many victim families mostly from a poor background who in search for a better future for their daughters have taken this bait. They understandably do not have enough resources at their command to fight their case so it the responsibility of the state to protect them and fight on their behalf. When it comes to basic human rights, there should be no harm in doing a little tougher diplomacy even with countries that have deeper pockets.