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CPEC & conflicting national narratives

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CPEC & conflicting national narratives

Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

NATIONAL narrative has become “part and parcel” of soft image projection of today’s civilized world. It promotes “bridges” of better understanding and dismantles “statues” of inflexibility and hatred. It discourages “phobias” and develops “bridges” of trust. Thus CPEC and its various mega projects needs “symmetric” but “comprehensive” national narrative from the government of Pakistan and its policy markers to successfully mitigate seeds of “bigotry”, “prejudice” and “disinformation” in which foreign ministry and “genuine experts” of CPEC & BRI may play a decisive role in the days to come.

Most recently, while chairing the high official meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan showed his government’s strong commitment to complete the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project at any cost and pass its benefits to the nation. He affirmed that CPEC and its all projects will complete at any cost and bring its socio-economic benefits to every Pakistani. Primer Khan termed the CPEC an excellent project for the country’s socio-economic development. He labelled it gigantic multi-faceted initiative which would guarantee a bright future for the nation. He appreciated the performance of CPEC Authority and said measures must be taken to improve its working as well as capacity.

The CPEC has been compared to that of the Marshall Plan undertaken by the United States in post-war Europe. The initiative has entered a new phase after coming into power of the government led by Mr Khan which has already decided to start its phase-II as soon as possible. Massive industrialization is the key to high exports, new job generation, capacity building, transfer of technology, development of labour market. Most recently to accelerate industrialization in the country under umbrella of CPEC, a 15 member Business Council has been reconstituted by the federal government which showed its commitment to encourage role of private sector in the ongoing and future projects of CPEC.

Moreover, it has been initially formulated for a period of two years. It will be chaired by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood and consists of Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Atif R Bokhari and Chairman CPEC Authority Lt-General Asim Saleem Bajwa (R) are members of the Steering Committee. It is an advisory group and a consultative forum between business community and the government on matters related to private investment under the CPEC and it will make specific recommendations for private sector investment in Pakistan under industrial cooperation.

Furthermore, it will propose feasible projects for investment for discussion with Chinese business companies, and to formulate strategies for expediting ongoing and future B2B projects under industrial cooperation. It will discuss and explore opportunities and develop new investment model for future projects of the CPEC, and advise on developing an integrated approach for future development of industrial cooperation under the CPEC with a special focus on agriculture, industry, housing, tourism and any other potential area or sector mentioned in the CPEC long-term plan. Being prominent regional expert of CPEC & BRI I term it right step towards right direction.

Regional hegemonic designs, invisible secret activities and obsession to maintain status-quo through naked power and its mastermind India has already started comprehensive “hybrid war” against Pakistan and CPEC. Reoccurring of a series of deadly terrorist acts and sabotage activities especially in the city of lights and commercial hub Karachi all fingers towards India, the enemy of regional stability, harmony, development and greater connectivity. Thus comprehensive national narrative about CPEC must be highlighted at every regional as well as international forum by highlighting its real potential of regional connectivity, greater socio-economic prosperity, human capital capacity, energy and food security and above all its inbuilt peaceful orientation.

At international level serious efforts have already been instigated against China by encircling it through the US series of economic sanctions, legal decrees (Hong Kong), social marginalization (UK intention on Hong Kong status), military embargos (South China Sea dispute) and last but not least promoting hidden ties with its regional puppets like India, Australia and even Taiwan to derail journey of “Asian Century” headed by China.

China-India continued standoff in Ladakh has its strategic impact on CPEC too. So, formation and CPEC right propagation is the way forward otherwise dissemination of conflicting regional as well as international narratives may be fatal in the days to come. It is ideal time to form an “Experts Council” to mitigate increasing propaganda of the US, India and the West against CPEC because US, India and many other Western countries are now showering money on international media outlets as well as regional so-called intellect robots, the artificial intelligent machines to pollute minds and souls of the regional countries and its people against CPEC & BRI. Chess board of the regional and its international masters have been disseminating fake and cheap news about CPEC’s security risk, debt concentration, uselessness, non-functional nature, bleak prospects and bar to national economy tagging to CPEC & BRI.

Being prominent regional expert of CPEC & BRI I reaffirm that CPEC is meant for enhancing regional stability, harmony and integration instead of so-called security risk. It is initiated to foster socio-economic development instead of so-called debt concentration. It has unlimited usefulness and utilities instead of so-called propagated uselessness. CPEC has multidimensional functionality which may open window of opportunity for private companies of both the countries to move forward exploring various avenues of cooperation and coordination instead of non-functional nature.

CPEC has already brightened scope and radius of bilateral relations, commercial diplomacy, B2B cooperation, speedy inflows of FDIs, easy and smooth transfer of technology, poverty reduction and last but not least, new job generation instead of bleak prospects. It uses holistic model of development and has noting with bar on national economies related to CPEC & BRI. It is high time to shackle sea-shells of so-called regional as well as international intellectuals against CPEC & BRI who have been wasting their time to build castles in the air and polluting sand by drawing zig-zag lines on the sand. CPEC is a living reality and their so-called intellect is a rotten egg.

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