CPEC has potential to transform Pakistan’s economy

Serene neighbourhood vs Regional Prosperity

Sehrish Khan

WITH the implementation of CPEC, it has the potential to transform Pakistan’s economy from a low growth mode (3-4%) to a higher and sustainable growth economy with low inflation, removing key infrastructural bottlenecks (energy, roads, highways, railways etc), promoting balanced regional growth and development, shaping new industry clusters, improving living standards and social stability and promoting regional connectivity. The length of newly built or upgraded roads and railways should reach 3871 km and 1529 km. Power generated by newly built sources will reach 19.785 million KW, and length of optical fiber cable will reach 2084 km. Under CPEC, various Pakistani industries will benefit. The garment and textile industry will be developed in Kashgar Economic Development Zone through importing raw materials from Pakistan. Textile and garment centers will built in Karachi and Lahore. Gwadar port infrastructure will be improved for fishery production. Furthermore, following the recent visit of Chinese Foreign Minister, he emphasized that China will broaden market access for Pakistani goods (especially agricultural products) and provide aid to the less developed areas in western Pakistan.
It is very obvious that Pakistan has unsettled relations with India and Afghanistan, having war like situations with India and full of mistrust with Afghanistan. However, relations with Tehran are much satisfying as compare to the two other countries. In the bordered neighbors of Pakistan, only China considered Pakistan much reliable and geographically more important and thereby an agreement was signed between the two countries (i.e. CPEC) to further polish the evergreen relations between them. This mega project and BRI aims to promote the connectivity of the Eurasian and African continents for sustainable development and financial cooperation. The BRI is worth over a trillion dollars, comprises more than 80 percent of the global growth in 21st century and includes 68 countries and is open to others who want to take benefit from it.
Pakistan’s socio-economic prosperity needs peaceful neighborhood, to not having economic cooperation with one neighboring state and a mere normality with the other and conflicts with the remaining. For the balanced growth of the region, the new government must take decisive steps to augment its relations with the neighboring states. Yet, there are rumors about advocating a reappraisal of the $62 billion CPEC. The perception about this matter has been manipulated by the false chronicles while others may not have objectively analyzed the issue. The effectiveness of the project can easily be gauged with answers to the following questions: is there any other choice except CPEC to accrue comparable politico-economic benefits? At the moment, it can be easily said that there are none that can even remotely match the CPEC. Are the agreements rigidly binding or can they be modified to suit the needs of both the countries? China has agreed to accommodate our genuine needs and compulsions, despite repeated distractions, caused by squabbling among the provinces for their share of the pie, sometimes in disregard of the broader objectives of the corridor.
Besides, there is a dire need to remove the doubts that may be lurking in the minds of some people about the CPEC by making its terms and condition transparent. They must know about the frequent disinformation campaigns about the CPEC and realize that Indian support for rebels, terrorists and dissidents in Pakistan is part of their hybrid war. It is directly aimed at sabotaging CPEC. It is the matter of grave concern to collectively raise these concerns at international forums including UN General Assembly.

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