Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
TWO opposite forces are “confronting” each other in South-East Asia and beyond. One represents path of “qualitative life” and the other upholds “hegemonic” “mantra”, “ill” designs and secretive schemes of India, USA and its allies against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Two opponent “national narratives” are also fighting for logic and lethal destruction. Indian constant propaganda against Pakistan and the CPEC is purely based on “cognitive dissonance” and “semiotic theories” which should not be taken lightly anymore. India has now become strategic ally of the USA and partner of various Middle East countries too is all out to pollute minds and souls of the people, businessmen, investors and policy makers about so-called hidden aims and agenda of the CPEC terming it anti-peace, harmony and economic self-reliance for all the regional countries especially India and its strategic partners.
India has been applying all possible resources, scientific techniques and hidden networks to change pro-development, debts-free, lesser-Chinese colonization and last but not the least, pro-investment, business and nature projects of the CPEC and labelling the CPEC anti-development, debts-inflicted, sever Chinese domination, anti-investment, business and nature because of so-called sever economic conditions. The Indian mass media is rigorously manipulating words and twisting news to slander a developmental program (CPEC) with the application of conceptual metaphor theory which somehow has become linguistic conventions too because of collective cultural understanding. Now the tussle of narratives has entered into a new phase of tug-of-war.
Moreover, Indian cognitive dissonance’s orientational metaphor, ontological metaphor and structural metaphor models are closely overlapped and interconnected which are producing elements of some doubts, confusions and misconceptions about the real economic value of the CPEC and especially its phase-II in the region in which some so-called national pseudo intellectuals are also contributing bad notions against the CPEC which need to be ratified as soon as possible. There is an urgent need to formulate a national media company to project the real motives, multiplier effects and blessings of CPEC’s phase-II projects to counter the ongoing dissemination of “web” of false news and analyses of the Indian mass media and its global partners alike through logic, wisdom and economic presentation on a regular basis.
In this regard, Pakistan Observer has been acting as a “front-line” actor highlighting positive, productive, participatory and progressive orientation of the CPEC on a regular basis. Even the Centre of Global Strategic Studies (CGSS), the primer policy institute of the country especially on China (CPEC, BRI) and Euro-Asia protecting the real essence of the CPEC & BRI through research-oriented articles, news items and interactive conferences. Most recently, India Today published a new article written by Saikiran Kannan entitled “CPEC Crisis: China plays hard as Pakistan spirals deeper into debt trap | Deep Dive” on November 20, 2020 describing the CPEC dis-functional, un-productive and anti-prosperity. It highlighted misappropriation of ML-1 project. It seems that it is a brain-child of an insane person who does not know even the actuality of Pakistan’s politics, pillars of economics and resilience of masses. The federal government of Pakistan has already decided to restructure the administrative system of the Railways into four parts to transform it into profitable entity.
Moreover, serious negotiations are going on which have now got momentum after the arrival of new Chinese ambassador a non-career diplomat Nong Rong having huge experience of real politics, good governance, economic planning, conflict resolution and inter-faith harmony and hopefully all pending issues and delay in implementation of the CPEC’s phase II will be resolved amicably. The said article of the India Today did not properly interpret so-called economic/statistical data indicating rise in debts. In this context, the SECP, SBP, Planning Commission and last but not the least, Finance Ministry of Pakistan has already rejected Indian propaganda by highlighting complete and transparent figures. The India Today tried to sabotage the ongoing development activities at Gwadar Sea Port (GSP) narrating it waste of resources but on the contrary, the first-ever fish cargo has arrived at the GSP for onward shipment to China in refrigerated containers, opening a new era of prosperity for the people of Balochistan and the country’s economy. The arrival of 200 tonnes of fish consignment at the GSP is the outcome of diversified but integrated developmental activities of the CPEC at the GSP.
Now, the GSP has been transformed into an international transit trade hub. For easy and smooth shipping of commodities through the GSP a dedicated Directorate of Transit Trade has also been established at Gwadar to work closely with the stakeholders to transform the port into a major transit trade hub. It seems that people of Balochistan and Pakistan will be benefitted with the GSP where more vessels containing international cargo, including LPG, steel pipes, DAP fertilizer for transit to Afghanistan will be scheduled. It also shows confidence of the international business community and shipping lines in the economic potential of the GSP under the flagship project of the CPEC. During the recent visit of a high-level Pakistani delegation to Afghanistan led by Adviser on Commerce, Afghan businessmen had expressed keen interest in making investment for trade through the Gwadar Port. Most recently, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning and Development cleared with majority vote “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2020” which clearly dismantled Indian falsified news about any political disunity and dissent in national politics.
Chinese Foreign Ministry lambasted Indian PM Narendra Modi’s fresh allegations against Pakistan recalling positive contribution made by Islamabad against global terrorism. China appreciates the positive contribution by Pakistan to the international counter-terrorism cause, firmly supports Pakistan in cracking down terrorist forces. It furthermore upheld that attempts that aim to sabotage CPEC would be doomed to fail. The USA has its own perpetual “China containment” policy for which it has signed a strategic partnership and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) deal which will bring the two countries closer to each other and help them counter China. Being a prominent regional expert of CPEC & BRI, I owe Foreign & Information Ministries to wake up from deep slumber to counter the ill designs of India & the US through think tanks and patriotic media in which the CGSS and Pakistan Observer would be two best viable options in the days to come.