Dr. Mohammad Tamoor Azam:
China has laid bare an educational policy after announcing the Belt and Road Initiative which has transformed China into a hub for international students. The student body jumped from almost 55,000 students in 2006 to nearly 440,000 students in 2016, according to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). While the CPEC is the flagship project, Pakistani students are flocking to China to enroll in technical courses and mostly to attain professional degrees. Last year, a data released by China Scholarship Council (CSC) —a nonprofit organization headed by the Chinese government’s Ministry of Education— revealed that there was an astronomical surge from about 9,500 Pakistani students in 2012 to around 30,000 students in 2019. It stands as the fifth-largest source of international students flowing into China after US, Russia, South Korea and Thailand. In fact, Pakistani students have spread out in every university in China with different level of scholarships. For instance, Master students get around 70,000 Rs, PhD students get around 80,000 Rs, and Post-Doctorates more than 200,000 per month, of particular note, these students enter China without qualifying HSK, ILETS, TOFEL, GRE, GMAT, etc. If I would discover the exceptional feats of Pakistani students in China, people in my country would go into the state of numbness and shock. As we know the image of our country in international arena is marked with unbalanced economy, fragile governance and security to rampant terrorism, but China and Turkey ignored this poor image and embraced us. When a Pakistani person introduces himself in China, he will be welcomed with Chinese proverb “ba-tie” meaning “Iron brother” and same is true in Turkey. As a nation, a nagging foible in our attitude has tarnished our image everywhere. Can Pakistan be considered a fortress of Islam? Of course, not. It has never demonstrated any Islamic teachings practically since independence. We have inherited the political, bureaucratic, educational, judicial to societal systems from British. It is the universal truth that you can not be creative in some other language. One of the grave problems in our country is that we speak multiple languages with respect to the rendezvous like at home we speak our mother tongues, in schools and universities we have to speak our official language English, while in rest of place we speak our national language Urdu. Resultantly, we have no command on any single language which makes us a confused nation. Hence by having traits of confusion in personality, we are verbally Muslims and practically Non-Muslims. Unfortunately, we are manifesting this dual personality in China. Chinese society is an invaluable asset to the world because it has no definite order or shape in today’s date. On one hand it has five thousand years of rich historical culture, philosophy, tradition, architecture, religion, festivals, music, on the other hand, the lives of Chinese new generation are caricature of western norms and culture. Their family structure is collapsing with each passing day because of adapting western life styles. Being namesake Muslims, Pakistani students in China are going far beyond the footsteps of Chinese new generation. Here is a tip of an iceberg: students are busy in cultivating illegitimate relationships; they are notorious for debauching young girls and divorced women, they attend late night parties at bars with concubines, and are excessively drinking. Even the holy month of Ramadan is not honored, mostly medical to PhD students are earning hundreds of Chinese Yuan ¥ by teaching kindergarten kids with fictional representation of western to African nationalities as English is not their native language, if they apply job as a Pakistani they would be rejected out rightly, in this way their actual names reconstruct from Danial to Deneal, Maryam to Merry, Jaffer to Jeffery and they conned their way in to the job which is illegal by having student visa. Their eccentric conduct gives an impression that they have just been released from some dungeon. The purpose of traveling to China was to earn knowledge through research and hard work, but all in vain and unfortunately went astray. With this phony character in hand, these students left no stone unturned in accusing Pakistani politicians for corruption, maligning Pakistan Army in interfering politics and blaming Pakistani media for blacking out the news, instead they must ponder on this idiom “Doing a little soul searching of one’s own” or “apne greban may jhankna”. Only a handful of students out thousands are engaged in studies, research and busy in achievement of ambitions. With the passage of time, the image of Pakistani students is tarnishing. Their wickedness towards Chinese girls and deception towards purpose in China are exposing gradually, with hindsight, the time soon may arrive when Pakistanis might be banned to enter China.
The writer is a Research Analyst at Kunming University of Science & Technology China.