Naveed Aman khan
Last night I received a very thought provoking call from my university classmate Khalid Wakeel, Professor International Relations and Media Studies, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudia Arabia. During discussion he asked me about the development, preparations and successful future of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Undoubtedly China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is gigantic multidimensional project and future of Pakistan is being seen in the success of this worthy project. Is Pakistan on the brink of its economic boom? After huge investment from China will we be in the position to handle this project? Will we properly cultivate the fruit of it? What are our preparations in this regard? These important questions still need attention of the government of Pakistan. On my last visit to China, I came to know that Chinese Investors have serious reservations about procedural matters, provisions of facilities and availability of skilled manpower to meet the requirements of diverse projects of CPEC. China is transferring its low technology to Pakistan whereas high technology will remain within China. Are we preparing our manpower to meet the skilled needs of these projects? The answer is very simple and that is ‘No’. In such a situation how can we expect that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will benefit common Pakistanis? Government of Pakistan is looking after the matters of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects so for these different projects and technologies government will have to make our manpower useful otherwise China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will not become actual game changer. In such circumstances China will bring its technologies and required skilled and unskilled manpower to Pakistan. Technological and robotic advancement in Pakistan is only possible if Pakistan government provides lucrative duty tariffs and utilities to the investors. Both Pakistani and foreign investors are seen crying about high tariffs offered to them which logically discourage them to invest here. The investors prefer investing in the countries where they don’t face the issue of availability of skilled manpower and their investment is safe and privileged; in the countries where their business flourish without unnecessary obstacles. Unfortunately, Pakistan is not preparing its manpower compatible to the standards, pace and momentum of the advance technological development. Skilled development in Pakistan is never encouraged. Industries suffer because of energy and power shortage and high tariffs.
China has transformed itself from agricultural country to a technologically developed country. America and entire Europe have already reached height of advancement after transforming themselves from agriculture-based nations to industrial ones. Even agriculture in China is being done by latest technologies. From seeds to ploughing and harvesting Chinese agriculture is fully transformed with most modern techniques and technologies. We need to modernize our agriculture on China model to meet our needs up to our requirements. If our manpower is not prepared for the future needs of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor we will definitely suffer a great loss. Ultimately our nation will remain unemployed and non-productive. To meet their requirements Chinese companies will bring manpower from China. Because of this situation from Gilgit to Gwadar poverty will prevail and fate of the nation will never get changed and better. Government of Pakistan needs to look into this serious matter and find the ways to meet the requirements. During our discussion Professor Khalid Wakeel raised this very valid, rational and logical point. It reflects that our governments are not prepared to cultivate fruits of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor at all. China Pakistan Economic Corridor will then only provide excess to China, Central Asian States and rest of the countries of the region to the waters of Gwadar and nothing else. These nations will get benefits of this worthy Corridor. Unfortunately starting and ending points of Gilgit-Baltistan and Gwadar are suffering a lot.
In our country almost all the labour classes are uneducated. For instance our carpenter’s, masons, plumbers, electricians and others still work manually. Unless they are made properly literate and technology based, Pakistan can’t make rapid progress compatible to advance nations of the world. Pakistan needs to focus on latest technology and workable skilled manpower. Pakistan will have to introduce its lucrative packages to encourage investors to invest in Pakistan.