“History has not been fair to Pakistan but its Geography has always stood by it.” Stephen Cohen
CPEC-China Pakistan Economic corridor – once completed shall prove to be a game changer for Pakistan and the region. Of the $ 46 Billion investment planned by China, $ 34 Billion are meant for power Generation projects, While Dollar 12 million or so are set-aside for Road/Railway network.
With the development of power sector by China and the already in place LNG supply from Qatar; the much awaited Gas pipeline from Iran and the recently agreed supply of electricity (1300 Megawatts – possibly more) from Tajikistan; the TAPI gas project from Turkmenistan, alongwith some home – grown power projects, would augur well for Industry, Agriculture and local and foreign investments, as well as for the hither to much deprived Pakistani consumer.
The development of the deep sea port of Gawadar, with large Area in the hinter land planned as Industrial zone with the possibility of Gawadar being declared as a free port, promises great possibilities.
China also plans to set up an oil refinery at Gawadar and lay down an oil pipeline from Gawadar to Kashgher. Besides, fibre optics connection has already been planned between kashgher and Pakistan. In the meantime, KKH is being converted into Dual carriageway. All this shows tremendous commitment by China for the mutual benefit of both the countries and the region. All these developments are bound to result in the quantum jump of Pakistan’s Economy and of course, further cementing the already very close relationship with our great neighbour and unwavering friend China.
The one belt-one route vision of China would also be very beneficial to the land locked central Asian republics providing a much shorter route to sea, to the Middle East and to Africa. Iran and Afghanistan too would benefit a great deal by shorter trade route to/ from China. Subsequently, with the proposed rail link between China and Pakistan and up gradation of the existing Rail link between Pakistan and Iran Pakistan, China and the peripheral countries would be connected to Europe by Rail.
Apart from the tremendous Economic possibilities that CPEC will provide to China, Pakistan and the peripheral countries – it has all the potential of developing a bond of friendship among all the regional countries (seemingly a far fetched idea at present) – including India, if Indian Punjab also joined in.
For Pakistan, CPEC has other covert advantages. Obviously, with so much at stake, China would stand by Pakistan, more than ever before. Being a rising super power with its increasing Economic, military and diplomatic clout China is a great source of strength and solace to Pakistan in the International Arena – especially when India has joined in the strategic Nexus of Israel and USA. Additionally, the huge Chinese investment for CPEC project would also encourage other countries to invest in Pakistan.
Sadly, India unfriendly to Pakistan since its inception, has reportedly allocated a huge sum of money (much more than what it allocated for forcibly separating “East Pakistan”) to its notorious agency RAW to disrupt this project by all manners and means. The Pakistan army has therefore undertaken to provide Protection to the project personnel and installations.
The capture of Kulbhashan Yadav, a serving Indian Naval officer, and a RAW agent, based at Chabahar in Iran, was nabbed by Pakistan while he was in Baluchistan. Our Govt must take up with the UN the covert aggression by India for over a decade resulting in collasal loss of life and Economy of Pakistan. Besides, we must ask our brother country Iran to be vigilant against RAW’s agents who would be deployed at Chahbahar and elsewhere in Iran now that the Chabahar port and road/rail link to central Asia and Afghanistan is being spear-headed by India. India may even transport troops, guns and tanks through Chabahar to Afghanistan, to threaten Pakistan from both sides.
We must also ask Afghanistan to stop RAW’S operations from its soil and its clandestine support by the Afghan agency NDS. India’s RAW based in Afghanistan, with the tacit support of Afghanistan (and others) had been responsible for more than decade long terrorist activities in Pakistan through their paid assassins in FATA, Baluchistan and Karachi, resulting in the death of 70,000 Pakistanis and loss of $ 120 billion to Pakistan’s Economy. The involvement of NDS has been further confirmed by the recent arrests of several high and low Afghan Intelligence Personnel by Pakistan.
Last but certainly not the least, if ever we badly needed unity at home, the time is now. The constant squabbling of the political parties, their threats of Dharnas and street agitations tend to undermine political stability, so very essential for expeditious completion of CPEC and Associated projects. They should debate their grievances inside the National Assembly or seek remedy through the Supreme Court. Their unending Jalsas, Dharnas and street agitations are also a constant source of disruption of the daily life of our common citizens. Our political leaders must rise above themselves and not undermine the National Security and Development for their personal or parochial interest.