Prof Zamir Ahmed Awan
CPEC has been politicised by small political parties, small provinces, minorities and some ethnic groups. It is understood, that everybody wanted more share out of CPEC and they use CPEC as tactics. Sometimes support it, sometimes oppose it and sometime threaten it and try to sabotage it. They use all ways and means to get maximum benefits from CPEC. Ironic! CPEC was also politicised by the ruling party too. CPEC is a guarantee for “Stability and Development” not only for Pakistan or China but for the whole region. Its fruits will be shared by Russia, Central Asian States, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and whole Middle-East.
CPEC is a small artery of Mega Initiative OBOR (One Belt One Road) of China. Which promotes connectivity and trade among the neighbouring countries of the whole region. In fact, China has already became second largest economy of the world and wanted to share its experience and fruits of its development among the neighbouring countries and the rest of whole world. Till date, 69 Countries have joined OBOR initiative, there are 6 economic corridors. CPEC is pilot project and one of the most important, as it has to set up an example for the rest of world to follow.
The ruling part politicised CPEC and are trying to get credit by labelling it “A gift to ruling party from China”. While it is just matter of co-incidence and China would have initiated CPEC, whom so ever might be in the Government. Chinese wisdom believes in “Thousand Friends, No enemy” and advised our Government on various levels not to publicize the CPEC. They suggested us to work hard and also at fast pace, till all the projects are completed and let the world come to witness the achievements. Once Pakistan has achieved all its goals, then no one can un-do or reverse it, no fear of sabotage or damage. But our Government has made it a political slogan “Game Changer” for attracting vote-bank. In fact, they have warned the whole world and as a result, today we have “Thousand Enemies (many more) and zero friend or few friends”. I wish our Government has listened to the sincere advice of Chinese friends.
CPEC has already delivered to some extent, especially in term of early harvest projects, which have been completed or near to completion almost. As a result, load shedding duration has been reduced to some extent. Roads network have improved to a great extent. Economic activities have enhanced, jobs market has improved. Pakistan’s standing in international arena has improved. Foreign Direct Investment rating and credibility has enhanced. Pakistan’s international image has improved well. No doubt the impact of CPEC is visible. But I believe the potential was much more. If we had planned well, identified our priorities, negotiated with China and managed the CPEC well, we must have achieved much more. It is time to re-think and think smartly this time. It is still not too late, we must work hard, and struggle till the stage, Pakistan achieves its goals and join the prestigious club of rapidly developing or developed countries.
— The writer is Sinologist, (ex-diplomat), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad.