Dr Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
THE China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been in the “line of fire” from the Indian leadership, think-tanks and mass media, projecting it a “potential” threat to its national sovereignty and “hegemonic” economic supremacy in the region. On the other hand, the Governments of Pakistan and China have been “advocating” its “peaceful” orientation and strategic “utilization” in terms of social development, economic sustainability, power generation, new jobs and, above all, immense infrastructural development. But still the “fierce” war of tug is going on wherein respective national narratives are being “disseminated” through various innovative and “covert” ways and means.
Even, Indian big “brass” is also “deeply” indulged into “proxy war” against the CPEC. While speaking to “Raisina Dialogue 2020” Indian Naval Chief Admiral Karambir Singh claimed that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor encroached on India’s so-called sovereignty. It was a recurrence of India’s stand against CPEC, which is the flagship project of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Indian Government also considers CPEC as anti-Indian because of its self-defined “parameters” of national as well as regional security. However, the Indian opposition to CPEC on these two points does not hold ground. Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that India has been directly sponsoring terrorists in order to destabilize Pakistan. FM Qureshi made the remarks while addressing a joint press conference with Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Babar Iftikhar.
The Foreign Ministry of Pakistan disclosed a comprehensive “dossier” indicating “secretive” direct command/supervision of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the CPEC. It spelt out various serious and “undeniable” allegations against Indian Prime Minister Modi to run a “terrorist cell” against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Due to the severity of the matter the said dossier has been shared with the UN and the representatives of P-5 countries. It has now further strengthened Pakistan’s Government dossier tall claims after the European Union “shocking” revelation for the existence of a vast Indian network comprising fake web-sites, NGOs and mass media outlets propagating against Pakistan and its just cause. It consisted of over 100 pages which have been shared with the representatives of EU, OIC and non-permanent members of UNSC disclosed direct and destructive role and involvement of the Indian Intelligence Agency (RAW) using its diplomatic missions in various neighbouring countries for organizing, directing and supporting the various terror outfits across Pakistan.
The dossier projected the existence of an anti-CPEC terror cell that has been “operating” from headquarters of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) since 2015. The cell functions under the direct supervision of PM Modi and is tasked to disrupt, undermine and delay CPEC projects. The Pakistan Foreign Office took an “unprecedented” step/initiative to identify Indian PM Modi behind the terror cell which is funding, directing, organising and executing terror outfits and sub-nationals across Pakistan by sharing names, dates, details of attacks, $ & INR amounts for terror attacks. It further outlined various “deadly” activities of the Indian terrorist cell against CPEC through the use of “proxy warriors”, “war lords” and “cyber-attacks”. According to the dossier the cell was allocated a sum of $500 million to fund terror against CPEC. The study of statistical data and scientific modelling and interpretation of terrorist activities in the country, especially against the CPEC projects, clearly establishes a direct “correlation” between Indian RAW and its localized franchises like BLA, BRA, BLF and TTP.
It highlights that there has been a rise in terror attacks in Balochistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan, since CPEC was officially announced in 2013 which caused unnecessary delays in its completion but strong political commitment of Pakistani and Chinese governments and spirited resolve of the defence forces of Pakistan successfully shackled the clandestine network of the Indian RAW. As Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the CPEC, essential for the country’s socio-economic future, conversely New Delhi wants to hurt Pakistan economically by undermining CPEC. As part of that strategy, India has been making an effort to get Pakistan blacklisted Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In addition, India is also funding unrest in Pakistan by interference in domestic dynamics of the country. Rise to anti-army sentiments, character assassination of political leadership and last but not the least, wrapping of the country into dark seas of political chaos and societal uncertainty, all indicate India’s direct involvement in the domestic affairs of Pakistan through sponsorship including the amount of money poured into these groups, to hurt Pakistan. According to the figures provided by the government, some PKR 22 billion has been disbursed to different outfits to destabilize Pakistan.
These include some PKR 2.88bn for the notorious Tehreek-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP), PKR 18.57bn for Balochi terrorists and less than PKR 1bn for the Altaf Hussain Group and other militants in AJK and GB, primarily to hit CPEC. Being a prominent regional expert of CPEC & BRI, I would like to suggest comprehensive and concrete steps to be taken immediately to counter fake propaganda of Indian think-tanks and mass media outlets. There is an urgent need to form a genuine think-tank to “dispel” and “dismantle” Indian’s think-tanks & mass media dissemination against the CPEC in which the “Centre of Global Strategic Studies” (CGSS) and “Daily Pakistan Observer” may play a vital role in the days to come. Since ours is the age of “virtual reality” and “advocacy” we must need to have “genuine scholars” and “apparatus” to deter with ill designs of enemies of prosperity, peace and harmony through wisdom, logic and appropriate means in which the role of CGSS & Pakistan Observer would be “decisive”.
Formation of “pure” and “simple” “national narrative” is not an easy task in which mere “cosmetic orientation” and bureaucratic make-over achieves nothing. It is the ideal combination of science & arts in which “genuine intellect” and “patriotic media” therapy may act as a “balancing act”. Mushroom of pseudo intellectuals, widespread of below average think-tanks, mediocre research centres and seasonal newspapers may not succeed to secure national interest associated with the CPEC. The CGSS & Pakistan Observer will be “cornerstone” of the nation’s “systematic response” to Indian ill designs and covert schemes against the CPEC and sovereignty. To conclude, ours is the age of “mind sciences” wherein innovative ways and means of advocacy, persuasion, marketing, soft image and diffusion may be carried forward through the help of “human intellect” and “paper presentation” in which the “CGSS & Pakistan Observer” will play a “paramount role” to safeguard strategic orientation of the CPEC and national narrative alike.