The term game changer is used to refer to $46 billion china Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC) project which is by far the most ambitious mega project that Pakistan has undertaken since its independence with its most reliable, closest strategic and economic partner China. Ideally, the CPEC will put Pakistan back on track, weaken the extremists, encourage armed forces to support peace efforts in Afghanistan and begin to knit together a fragmented region with new development and trade.
CPEC is a unique model of economic development and international economic co-operation which will usher in new era of progress and development in the background areas of the country to resolve interpersonal differences, empower under-privileged, downtrodden communities of the country to capitalise on the resources available more effectively by staying united under single Pakistani flag. This is how we can overcome poverty, terrorism and corruption, which will eventually enable us to reap the fruits of peace an prosperity through this project.
This mega project represents unique idea of one belt, one road initiative, aimed at promoting peace, Co-operation and a new concept of modern diplomacy based on shared goals of prosperity and a project to eliminate poverty, unemployment and under development.
The whole project cost’s $75 billion of which over $45 will ensure the corridor become operational by 2020. It is the dream of every Pakistani to see CPEC well-accomplished and successful, this dream can never be turned in to reality without the role of the armed forces.
The military has been keen to play a much bigger role in the decision making and implementation of the CPEC project. Army engineers have built a road over 800 km long in Baluchistan. The Chinese too would perform greater involvement of the military for expeditious completion of project clearly, the CPEC success would depend largely on high quality management and greater transparency and accountability that General Raheel Sharif, too has been emphasising. While Govt and military establishment role in this regard is highly significant.
The government is fully aware of the potential for subversive activities by countries that are hostile to the project and which feel that it will alter the regional strategic balance in favor of china and Pakistan. The KulbhushanYadev episode is illustrative of such designs. Research and analysis Wing (RAW) operates in Balochistan to create insurgency to sabotage CPEC. The recent attack on the Balochistan Police cadets training Colleges in Quetta Seems part of a plan to undermine the CPEC. In fact, detractors of the mega project are getting jittery.
Those opposing CPEC directly or through their proxy India find it discomforting that Pakistan and China are fully determined under the umbrella of Pakistan Armed forces to see the fruition of the Multi-layered project, which will propel the lives of the Baloch, average Pakistanis and the people in the region, into a new dimension of progress and prosperity. CPEC is a long project expected to be completed by 2030 under which industrial zones will be set up in all provinces, small cottage industries will start flourishing. This will attract investment from China and international investors. For Pakistani businessman directly or in partnership with Chinese or foreign partners, this present a unique opportunity to invest in the country.
Initially this mega project has two domains; transportation and energy. $12 billion has been fixed to create a new network of road, highways, railways and airports which is said to be China’s biggest ever overseas investment. A 3,218 km long route to be built over 15 years, a Chinese built deep sea Commercial port at Gwadar on the Arabian.Sea, with rails, roads and air ports leading from the port across Balochistan Province into western China. The route from Gwadar to Xinjiang province in China would be a short cut for trade between Europe, China and Pakistan. Up to $37 billion is earmarked to complete Pak-Iran gas pipeline and coal – based power plant, hydropower plants and solar parks to energy starved Pakistan –by 2018. From the Pakistani perspective, the Gwadar port is the biggest gift and asset as it will facilitate and expedite its development. For China, it will be the shortest route to Malacca, the Straits of Hormuz and the Indian ocean, which enable china to save billions in transport with a transport route some 6000 miles shorter. Not only will it give financial gains to china, but it will also cut the time to reach china from Middle-East from 12 days 36 hours.
Gwadar will be playing a key role in china’s joint plans for silk road economic belt as maritime silk road linking china Pakistan to Europe, Africa and beyond. In a nut shell, it is a win-win situation for both the country. Pakistan is a country that has been has been plagued by problem from all around unless we realise our own feet, we really cannot depend on other, china has been far more trust worthy is a much more reliable friend of Pakistan. Pakistan is the part of larger vision Chinese have, our relation with china are of utmost importance. CPEC is the most important initiative of the 21st country which perfectly compliments Pakistan vision for 2025. Pak-China friendship is higher than Himalayas, to higher than stars and both the countries are working to put a satellite into the orbit by 2018 to keep a pace with this contemporary world. It has been a long cherished dream of every Pakistani to see Pakistan the next Asian tiger, which is now becoming a reality.
For Pakistan CPEC is more than a project, a matter of life and death. Pakistan is at a cross roads. It seems so obvious that the country is at a point where no question arises of compromising the CPEC. With the help of this mega project we will not only rejuvenate country’s ailing economy moreover it will enable us to raise country’s strategic profile and build capacity to work closely with a rising world power.
As we know, India is developing Iran’s Chabahar port and connecting it with a road network to Afghanistan, this opens up opportunities for countries of the region to complement rather than confront one another. India must sit down across the table and sort issues out specially Kashmir. India must realise the positive impact of the CPEC which will change the fate of entire region.
China Pak Economic Corridor: A unique model