Dr Muhammad Khan
There exists no ambiguity in the minds of Pakistani masses that completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is most important for the economic uplift of Pakistan. The corridor has strategic significance for the China too. Whereas, there were many groups active in Pakistan in creating misperceptions about this project, India has launched a campaigned against CPEC at three levels. Initially India tried to mislead the people of Pakistan that, CPEC would give way to Chinese imperialism like East India Company.
Failure of this Indian assertion, India tried to pursued the masses in Pakistan through is proxies that, some areas and people are being marginalized under the adopted route of the CPEC. On this misleading assertion some of political forces, having close affiliation with India tried to play politics over the CPEC, but subsequently, the people of Pakistan rejected them too.In the subsequent step, Indian leadership reached over to Beijing, persuading the Chinese leadership to abandon the project.
The logic Indian tried to put across was that, Pakistan is an unsafe country for any investment and there is terrorism in Pakistan, spreading in the neighbourhood too. The Chinese leadership however rejected the Indian persuasion and decided to go ahead with the construction of CPEC. In this campaign of opposing the CPEC, India made use of all channels; diplomatic, political, economic and even strategic. In the next phase, India took a different stance and pressurized China and Pakistan that, since the CPEC has to pass through the disputed land of Jammu and Kashmir (Gilgit-Baltistan), therefore, it cannot be allowed.
While making this excuse, India forgot that, already there is road linkage between Pakistan and China through KKH, how would this development (CPEC) make a difference. Then, the disputed region is IOK, whose people are fighting against the Indian occupation ever since 1947. The people of AJK and GB have wilfully joined Pakistan and want to be its part and parcel. Then through a stoppage of CPEC, India desires that, there should not be any development in these areas, thus pushing the people to darkness. The people of GB and AJK rejected this Indian ill intention too. Since India was reaching over Beijing, raising this objection, the Chinese leadership rejected it too.
Now, once again, India Government, its spying network, its mainstream media and even social media has become active in spreading false propaganda against CPEC to hurt Pak-China economic activities and sabotage CPEC.In a recently uploaded video on YouTube which contained a lecture by an Indian scholar Dr.GauravGarg who portrayed CPEC as Pak-China endeavour to dominate regional economy by compromising American, Indian, Iranian, Russian and CARs interests.
Directed by Indian Government, Dr GauravGarg emphasized the New Delhi and Washington to stop the completion of CPEC, since in his words, it is, ‘Chinese hegemonic designs over the region’. Further to that, he even tried mislead the audience by making use of maps and blamed that Pak-China trade route is passing through Kashmir (GB) that is part of India and Pakistan has illegally occupied it. Moreover, he also declared Balochistan a disputed territory and challenged Pakistan’s position.
Few months ago, Indian Prime Minister, NarindraModi also gave some statements on AJK, GB and Balochistan. All these Indian efforts are aimed to divert the global attention away from India Indian occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, Indian human rights violations in IOK, Indian planned strategy of sponsoring terrorism in FATA, Balochistan and other parts of Pakistan. There is a Indian spying network, operative in Pakistan through RAW-NDS cooperation.
Besides KhulbashinYadeve, India has its RAW agents operating in Pakistan in the garb of diplomats. Very recently, Pakistani media and intelligence agencies have unearth a group of Indian diplomats, who were running this network. Entire Indian efforts in Pakistan are focused on destabilising Pakistan internally through terrorism and sub-nationalism, causing internal rifts and stopping the FDI, which would boost Pakistani economy. Opposition of the CPEC is part of this India campaign.
Failing at regional level, to stop the construction of CPEC, India has aligned with US and some of the western countries to internationally oppose the CPEC. In this regard, India is portraying China as the peer competitor of the US and as a rising regional hegemon. It is further added that, India is constructing Chabahar port in Iran which is just 72km away from Gwadar Port and the presence of China at Gwadar would be a constant threat for India.India is creating an impression that, Balochistan is unstable and through its agents like BramdaghBugti and those being sheltered in some of the western capitals and even in Middle Eastern states. India is also helping Afghanistan in the construction of Salma Dam in Afghanistan and trying to stop the water of western rivers, thus imposing water terrorism in Pakistan.
In fact, India needs to correct its perception on the regional and bilateral issues through the prism of regional integration and prosperity rather through the mindset of rivalry and enmity. CPEC will boost the regional integration and economic prosperity, the benefits of which would be for all and India being a major economy will be the major beneficiary. If India can ask for a transit trade route for its economic linkages with Central Asia through Afghanistan, and is a partner of the TAPI, there should be no reason of India opposing the CPEC through political statements and promoting the terrorism along the route of CPEC. Iran has already shown its interests in close collaboration with Pakistan and China over the CPEC and it may become part of expanded project in future.
Apart from Pakistan and China, CPEC will be the best suited route as energy corridor for Iran, GCC, Central Asian states and even India. The project is the initiator for the long-term regional and global integration, benefitting entire Asia and even Africa and Europe. Let’s accrue the benefits of CPEC, rather opposing it. Indian leadership must come out from the idiotic mentality and concentrate on its over 50% population, spending their lives in absolute poverty. For a better economic integration, Indian masses must compel India leadership to stop conspiracies against the CPEC and cooperate with Pakistan for its early completion, which would reduce the poverty level in India too.
— The writer is International Relations analyst based in Islamabad.