Naveed Aman Khan
MULTIDIMENSIONAL gigantic project China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will be proved as game changer for the economic progress of Pakistan as well as the region. In first phase of CPEC, energy and physical infrastructure will be developed by 2020 in the country and will be completed in three phases till 2030. Highly valuable China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a real game changer as now the investors from Europe, Middle East and other countries of the world are showing interest in investing in Pakistan. Political stability is needed to achieve the real objectives of the CPEC project. Concrete measures to overcome energy crisis and to improve infrastructure have been taken by Pakistan. Initially out of 62 billion dollars of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, 35 billion dollars were to be invested on improving Pakistan’s power sector. Pakistan did not invest even a single penny on China- Pakistan Economic Corridor as all investment is being made by China. Foreign investors will start business in Pakistan which is proof of positive impact of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on economy. A new middle class market is emerging in Pakistan as country will achieve the GDP target of 6 percent.
Now Pakistan will rapidly grow but we will have to work hard. Agitators and Sit-ins would never change the fate of the country and long marches should only be for development of the country. Long hours load shedding of electricity has been minimised significantly. Political stability in Afghanistan will be in the best interest of Pakistan. Afghanistan political and economic conditions will have direct impact on this highly important project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor during next 10 to 15 years. Presidential election of Afghanistan has long been due but because of torrential law and order conditions it could not be made possible. In the past, unfortunately in Pakistan political governments were not allowed to complete their terms, which has led to the disruption of processes of political and economic stability.
The Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz 2013-18 government has put the country on the road to progress and prosperity after overcoming the power outage. In 2013 the people of Pakistan trusted the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz and voted it to power in order to bring development in the country. Now economic conditions are different from the past. It is important to learn lessons from successes of China, as it did not let anyone to compromise its political stability. The youth is biggest asset of Pakistan, and because of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor the government has made special arrangements to provide them employment. Millions of more jobs would be created owing to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, which would enable people to exhibit their skills in their respective fields.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would not only promote government-to-government and business-to-business cooperation, but also help strengthen people-to-people linkages, as it is a long-term project initiated for betterment of the people. Pakistan has rapidly emerged as one of top growing economies in the world in the recent years and the world is admitting it. The international media, which had been portraying Pakistan as a safe haven for terrorism, is now calling it a rising economy due to Chinese investment. The coal deposits in Thar are equal to the oil stocks of Saudi Arabia and Iran. We have wasted 70 years to tap coal but now because of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, coal stocks are being exhausted to cater to the needs.
The Gwadar Port would help achieve the target through trade with Central Asia Republics and other regions. The country witnessed only three per cent growth rate from 2008 to 2013.The growth rate has significantly improved during the Pakistan Muslim League-N government came into power. The people had to face load shedding of 18 to 20 hours in 2013, but now the situation has significantly changed as the government of Pakistan has given top most priority to energy sector and overcome energy crisis by putting in day and night efforts.
Some elements have been spreading wrong information and misconceptions about China- Pakistan Economic Corridor and trying to mislead people about the project. This Corridor is not an ordinary project as it would pave the way to progress and prosperity of the country. We should be grateful to the people and government of China who stood with us during difficult times when even Pakistani investors were reluctant to invest in the country. Now the international community has started looking at Pakistan as a hub of billions of dollars of Chinese investment. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has in fact assured the foreign investors that future prospects of Pakistan are very bright.