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Old Friday, August 11, 2017
black beast black beast is offline
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Despite possessing two different social and political systems, Pakistan and China have set an outstanding precedent of cooperation and friendship by adhering five principles of peaceful coexistence, share weal and woe, act in a good faith, respect each other and support each other. For the last sixty years, Pak-China affable relations have withstood international fluctuations and rooted into the hearts of the people of both countries. In this regard, China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a milestone and initiation of a new era of economic and strategic cooperation as well. China wants to reestablish the ancient trade “Silk Route” which had been used for trade since ages and China Pakistan Economic Corridor is the initiation of this enormous vision. Silk route played a central role in connecting people and regions on commercial bases. It was a fast and strong system of roads from China to Mediterranean Sea and from Ural to Indian Ocean. This route provided a luxury to communicate different civilizations and exposed the region in terms of distinctive cultures, ideas, knowledge, and Economic experiences. Many states initiated the Silk Road project but Chinese program is favorable for Pakistan and an economically strong country can take larger initiatives for the establishment of New Silk Road. Standing at the start of twenty-first century, Pakistan and China jointly proposed to construct “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor”, a part of “New Silk Road Economic Belt” and “New Maritime Silk Road”, as a result of a visit paid by the Premier Li Keqiang to Pakistan in May 2013. CPEC is a part of “One Belt One Road” vision expounded by Chinese President Xi Jinping which would connect sixty plus countries by land and maritime links across Asia and Europe. CPEC is a collection of infrastructure projects in Pakistan which was initially valued forty six (46) billion dollars now extended till sixty two (62) billion dollars. Geographically, Pakistan is located in strategically important place makes it a corridor between the South East Asian countries and energy-rich Middle Eastern states. CPEC is an extra-ordinary concept based on the existing trunk highways and railways of both countries. The corridor encourages of construction of cross border network of highways, railways, airlines, fiber-optic cables and oil-gas pipelines on both sides of the fences. Economic corridor is a complete package containing the connection of Karakoram highway from Kashgar to Gawadar Port providing China a direct access to the warm waters of Arabian Sea, coal power and hydropower projects and economic park projects for textile and home appliances and other sectors. Pakistan will surely get advantage from this mega project which will lead Pakistan towards its economic stability, in improving the livelihoods of its people, by providing better living conditions and social harmony. China’s Muslim Province Singiang is somehow considered to be the largest beneficiary of corridor would also promote the economic development, better living conditions to the people of Singiang and social security as well. Many columnists and scholars of both countries show their worry about the security of China Pakistan Economic Corridor considering the sabotage activities of terrorists in Pakistan and constant military operations against the non-state actors instigating anti-state agendas in Pakistan. Insecurity and risk do exist but it will hamper the construction of economic corridor. Safety and economic development are the two complementary issues. CPEC is undoubtedly the “Game Changer” for Pakistan and it would bring common prosperity to both Pakistan and Muslim-congregated Xingiang. More than sixty percent of the world’s crude oil with the worth of four trillion dollars annually comes from Middle Eastern states passes through the Strait of Malacca annually which is strategically one of the most important shipping lanes of the world connecting Indian and Pacific Ocean and it runs between Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. USA has military and naval deployments on the shores of Singapore. Construction of 2000km long railway track and oil-gas pipelines will not only give the short and easy access towards energy-rich Middle Eastern states but it would also give a strategic check-post to China in Indian ocean against USA’s strategic partner India which is also a point of worry to both USA and India. China expects that the economic corridor will make it capable enough to suck oil and gas from Central Asian countries with the help of pipelines through Baluchistan into Sinkiang. Chinese goods would have much more compatible, nimble and fast route to global markets than the Strait of Malacca, which China presumes is at the mercy of America. China and America have tense relation with each other in the South China Sea. China has dispute with some other countries such as Vietnam and Philippines, the American allies over the Spratly and Paracel Islands. China apprehends American hegemonic intentions in the region in the vicinity of Malacca Strait. In the conflict of two, China’s trade and supply may be blocked. China’s economy would be jeopardized. Thus, China needs an alternative route and such route is Gawadar developed by Pakistan and China in 2007 and to make Gawadar fully operational, CPEC is imperative. Furthermore, China also wants to cope with the insurgency in Sinkiang. In order to do so, it needs to develop the region which is its largest province and is Muslin-dominated. Development, China hopes, would help to quell the movement. Further, if Pakistan’s economy prospers economically, terrorism in Pakistan would dwindle and this would have positive impact on Sinkiang. Thus, China likes to invest in Pakistan for all these benefits, even though risk still prevails. Constructing China Pakistan Economic Corridor will bring regional harmony and better economic ties. It will provide China a shorter, cheaper and more secured route to interact with West and South Asia, Arabian Peninsula and Africa through Pakistan. As president Mamnoon Hussain already termed CPEC “Framework of Regional Connectivity” which would bolster the activities of trade and business in the whole region. It is an extra-ordinary project of shared dreams, goals, destiny, harmony and collective development through the extension of geographical links. CPEC is basically initiation the Maritime Silk Road that will link 3-billion people of Europe, Asia and Africa. From the initial value of $46-billion, China is going to invest $33.79 billion in energy sector of Pakistan to curb the energy short-fall in the country which has now become one of the main reasons of economic descent. $11.19 billion would be spent in transport sector including 1,240km Karachi-Lahore motorway which is a six lane high speed corridor and orchestrating upgrades to public transportation, including metro and bus service, in six cities, including Lahore Karachi and Rawalpindi. Modernizing the Karakoram Highway, which runs 1,300km from Kashgar, the ancient Silk Road crossing in Sinkiang, all the way into the heart of Punjab, Pakistan’s biggest province, will also prove critical. $44 million fiber optics will be installed linking Sinkiang and Rawalpindi. $0.66 billion will be spent on the up-gradation of Gawadar port to be fully operational for CPEC. In 2016, China’s aid exceeded the American spending, which has total $31 billion since 2002. CPEC is crucial for both, Pakistan and China, countries. According to Pakistan Economic Survey 2014-15, the trade between Pakistan and China has increased to $16-billion which has increased 10% from fiscal year 2009-10 to 2014-15. CPEC is 3,218km lengthy route that will be completed in the first phase of this mega project, embodied by highways, railways and pipelines. The much advertised $46-billion economic route goes through the stunning Gilgit-Baltistan Province in north of the country which connects Kashgar in China’s Western Province Sinkiang to the rest of the world through the Chinese operated Gwadar Port in South. The mage project has kept the hopes alive of elevating the economy and eliminating Pakistan’s energy crisis. It can be said that if CPEC is materialized according to the plan, it would exceed all the foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970 and would be equivalent to the 17-percent of 2015’s gross direct product. It is further estimated that CPEC would produce 700,000 direct jobs to the youth of Pakistan in different projects during the period of 2015-30 and add up to2.5 percent points to the country’s growth rate. CPEC will provide the opportunity of immense economic ascend not only for Pakistan but will link China to the markets of Asia, Europe and Africa. Righty percent of China’s oil comes from Persian Gulf, through Strait of Malacca, to Shanghai. It takes 2-3months to cover the distance of more than 16,000km. If Gwadar becomes operational, it would reduce the distance to 5,000km. All is going well on its track since its inception in 2013, Chashma-I, Chashma-ll nuclear power plants in Karachi, Karot hydropower project of 720 megawatt will be generated on Jhehlum River in Rawalpindi. Out of 21 agreements of energy- including coal, gas and solar power plants- 14 will be able to produce 10,400 megawatts of energy by March 2018. It is worth mentioning that Pakistan’s chronic energy short-fall is of 4,500 mega-watts which is shedding 2-2.5% of GDP annually. So it would bolster the energy sector by more than double of short-fall. Gilgit-Baltistan is famous for the exports of fruits like apricot, cherries and apples. CPEC will be the game changer for the region’s traders by opening more feasible opportunities to them. This will provide the local traders to double their profits in the cost of transportation and increasing their sales. Currently, Fruits are being sent through air-cargo via Dubia it would be cheaper and quick if transported by road to China via Sinkiang. It is believed that tourism industry will flourish, especially in Gilgit-Baltistan, the northern part of the country. This part of Pakistan is also known to be mountaineers paradise as it is the home of five of the eight thousands (peaks above 8,000 meters) as well as more than 50 mountains over 7,000 meters. It is a home of world’s second highest mountain K-2 and Nanga Parbat. The project is embodied by all optimism yet cannot be completely taken without apprehensions and reservations. The lack of consensus among all the political parties would be the foremost hurdle towards the implementation of CPEC project. Failure to address this issue will jeopardize Pakistan’s trade and economic growth with the other states of the region. It would, resultantly, slow down the progress pace of Pakistan. Another prevailing issues coming in a way of this mega project is a reservations of all provinces except Punjab that Punjab is getting more than 70-percent of the infrastructure portion in the development metro and bus services and refurnishing of existing roads. China Pakistan Economic Corridor is acceptable for all provinces for collective progress but other three provinces demands equal share in the developmental programs under the umbrella of CPEC without any respect of their size and population, which is an unjustifiable demand. Resources should be distributed according to the needs of the people of certain area. Access of resources would be exploited or wasted by bunch of greedy people. Indian Premier Modi straight away asserted that CPEC was “unacceptable” to India. Indian media is showing its anger by broadcasting controversial and false reports about the dilapidating situation of law and order in Pakistan which is threatening towards China’s projects in Pakistan. RAW increased sabotage activities in Baluchistan. It was for the first time in history that the Chinese officials warned Pakistan about RAW’s terror plans against Silk route and also made the Pakistani high authorities concerned over stumbling security situation in Baluchistan. India apprehends its encirclement by China. India, besides the US, dominates the Indian Ocean. But it feels that in future China is going to establish its hegemony in the ocean by establishing naval bases for warships in the so-called policy of “string of pearls”. China has given its official policy of Maritime Silk Road to trade through oceans. But India is reluctant to accept this. By materializing CPEC, China would have direct access to the Indian Ocean which could hamper the interests of India. India also jealous of the fraternal relations between China and Pakistan, and cannot see a prosperous Pakistan. Pakistan needs to strengthen its dilapidated economy. Already, Pakistan is facing numerous internal and external challenges. Terrorism, though dwindled after Zarb-a-Azb under the supervision of Ex-Chief of the Army Staff-General Raheel Sharif and currently Operational Rad-ul-Fasad initiated by General Kamar Javed Bajwa, has damaged the country a lot. Lawlessness in Karachi and Baluchistan has shaken the confidence of investors. SAARC has proved ineffective due to the arrogance of India. Poverty, corruption, unemployment and illiteracy are like venom to our country’s economy. Our trustworthy neighbor China has shown that by investing in Pakistan, the cordial relations between the “iron brothers” are going to be perennial. Chinese investment is going to be beneficial to Pakistan in curbing not only the menace of terrorism but also making Pakistan an Asian Tiger in the long run. Strong economy is more able to resist lawlessness. With CPEC materialized, Gawadar Port would become a major trading centre in the world, region will become industrialized and it would help us to be well-connected with the energy-rich Central Asia. Instability and anarchy in Afghanistan is also unfavorable for the progress of Pakistan. Afghanistan is facing turmoil as the government and Afghan Taliban is up against each other. Pakistan endeavors to reconciliation between the Afghan government and Taliban groups as Pakistan share the “Durand line” border with Afghanistan which is used for cross-border trade as well. Stable and peaceful Afghanistan will boast up the trade and prosperity on the both sides of the fences. Pakistan have been doing ventures to support the neighboring country by giving 3,000 scholarly admissions to Afghan students in universities, appreciated by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and in 2001, Pakistan gave shelter to 5-million Afghan Refugees when US attached with its horrific zeal in Afghanistan in the wake of an incidents in 9/11. Baluchistan’s turmoil could be a stumbling block in the way of the huge Chinese investment. There have been talk about the change in the route through the Punjab instead of Baluchistan. Nonetheless, Pakistan has promised Mr. Xi a 10,000 strong force to protect the Chinese workers. In January 2015, the Baloch Nationalists attached the electricity grid sinking 80% of the country, including the capital, into complete darkness. On May 29th 2015, the united Baloch Army, a secessionist group, killed 22 Pashtuns in Quetta. China knows Pakistan is a dangerous country for its workers could be in jeopardy. Chinese workers have occasionally been killed and kidnapped in Baluchistan. In March 2015, Baloch separatists assaulted oil tanker carrying fuel to a Chinese mines corporation. Pakistan’s previous endeavors to assuage the angry Baloch people turned futile. The insurgency was intensifying not mitigating. The present government strived hard to encourage the moderates such as allowing them to form a provincial government. For the sake of this project, and in larger perspective for the sake of sovereignty of the Muslim nuclear state, federal government mediated among these insurgent groups and provincial government in dialogues. In the result, many reservations of localities had, though not abated completely, come to an end to some extent. The leaders of these separatist groups were insured that the economic corridor would bring prosperity, development and job opportunities for the people of Baluchistan. Xi himself was optimistic during the visit. In a speech before parliament house of Pakistan, he admired the sacrifices of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies, paramilitary and civil-military forces to combat terrorism. China and Pakistan committed to “resolutely crack down on the Eastern Turkestan Movement”, a Xingiang-separatist militant group reportedly based within Pakistan. Even then China aspires to invest in Pakistan so that Pakistan prospers economically. Pakistan’s economic prosperity would tamp down the terrorist and this would be a positive impact on China’s troublesome regions of Sinkiang and Tibet where rebellion keeps on simmering. Instability in Pakistan is not good for China’s own security, especially for Sinkiang. Andrew Small, author of the Pakistan-China Axis, points out that it’s precisely because of these security concerns that China is so committed to develop the region. “China is certainly not completely confident that all the projects will be protected, but they think these security problems one of the main reasons that it’s so important to move forward for the sake of Pakistan’s stability,” Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said “Pakistan is a strong proponent of regional economic integration for the creation of new job opportunities, business, industrial production and agricultural growth in the region. He further stated that Pakistan is the future destination for investment, trade and production. In highlighting that importance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he emphasized that the regional countries to create awareness about this foundational stone of collective progress, dispel misgivings about it and harness resources for the project which will build the Gwadar Port as regional trans-shipment pivot supported by the network of roads, railway lines, power plants, industrial zones, pipelines and fiber optic cables. The former Premier further stated that Pakistan’s promise as an ascending nation and lucrative market was being recognized by the world and global markets.

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