CPEC: A road towards peace & prosperity

January 5, 2017

Pakistan and China progressing fast, in the coming years Pakistan could be seen as economically stable and more secure state.   Currently, the china Pakistan economic corridor has been the most fervent subject these days. Basically CPEC which is known as the project of multiple roads of one corridor has its major alignments with Pakistan through western, eastern and central fronts that are connected through highways and railways. However, western alignment is the most important one than others because it has opened the door of prosperity and development in Baluchistan and KPK, and also because Chinese investors will establish their manufacturing units on this route which would increase the employment opportunities in these remote areas.

Moreover, this one belt one road project, aims to connect Gwadar port in Southwestern Pakistan to the China’s Southwestern autonomous Xinjiang region, providing a network of highways, railways, and pipelines to transport oil and gas. As Pakistan is located at the cross roads of South Asia therefore this advantage would greatly benefit China through the reduction of tariffs and fees on the Chinese freight that passes through this route.

During his visit to Pakistan, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in May 2013, proposed that the CPEC will act as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route that foresees linking three billion people in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Furthermore, CPEC is beneficial for both Pakistan and China and could be seen as a major development between the two countries. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will bring about $70 billion annual revenue in the form of transit fee. This amount of money can be used to fund so many projects in Pakistan for power generation and for also completing the Pakistan-Iran Gas pipeline. Besides, free network of highways, free power projects, convenient connectivity between all the provinces could be thought as the way to deal with the problems of unemployment.

Presently, a much heated debate over China and Pakistan’s new economic cooperation corridor has gained attention to a greater extent around every corner of the world. CPEC is something believed to be a threat by some of the Western and European states , specifically United States and India. As China is an emerging economy and the fact that the paradigm of power has been shifting from west to east, one can easily understand that the world would no longer remain uni-polar yet soon it would become bi-polar due to coming forth Sino-power. Since China is an emerging power, United States and India have left no strategy to detract Pakistan to join the joint venture of China. Both of these countries are using their ultimate efforts to restrain the project because the success of this venture will undermine the power of India.

Despite all the obstacles, the importance of CPEC is beyond the imagination, because Gwadar to Kashgar route will not only decrease the distance between China and the resourceful Middle East yet would also provide a secure way of oil to China. Chinese government however is investing $46 billion in order to continue the trade through Gwadar port which is located in the forefront of Strait of Hormuz which is the pathway of $40 trillion trade in a year; moreover it will decrease the shipping cost of china to Middle East and other developing and African countries.

Although, CPEC aims to address the interests of both Pakistan and China, Pakistan needs to employ full security structure in which Pakistan army however is playing a positive and a much responsible role. Pakistan should invest to a greater extent in order to minimize the threats from the neighboring countries especially from India.

Currently, Pakistan army’s Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has expressed a hope that the timely completion of this project would usher in a new era of development in the region. Further he said the development in the Baluchistan area would ensure peace and stability in the country which our enemies don’t want.

Finally, the project not only motivates and enhance Pakistan’s economic infrastructure but also boosts all other areas of development from agriculture to manufacture, societal to education, employment and security. Besides the criticism from its neighbors Pakistan and China are progressing fast and in the coming years Pakistan could be seen as economically more stable and secure state which its foes could not withstand.

Meryem Javed
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