Amid growing concerns from both India and USA, the Chinese assurances on CPEC are laudable. Yes, China has specifically denied once and for all that it is building a military base inside this country’s borders. This will definitely go some way to assuaging American and Indian fears of an expansionist agenda criss-crossing through Pakistan.
Coming clean on the CPEC plans, the ambassador of China in Pakistan has offered USA and India to visit CPEC project and find out for itself that this mega economic project with Pakistan has no secret agenda especially military as being alleged.
One is sure once they see it, their apprehensions will end and they will stop propagating against it.
It may be recalled here that both India and USA have been engaged in bids to mislead the world that CPEC is a military designed project and not an economic corridor between China and Pakistan as reported.
India is at the forefront of the negative campaign propagating against the CPEC and its prime minister Mr Modi has gone to the extent of having openly said that he will utilize all ways and means to fail and sabotage the mega project even using the anti-Pakistan Baluch elements to sabotage the CEPC by terrorizing the workers engaged in the construction of CPEC ongoing projects. Already the Indian-sponsored terrorists have killed a number of Chinese and Pakistani workers but the Indian plan has so far failed to jeopardize the project which is continuing with a reasonable pace of work. Already 22 harvest projects have been completed and an amount of US dollar 20 billion has been so far spent on such projects.
According to the Chinese ambassador it is the largest foreign investment in Pakistan by China in the past seventy years, no other country has provided so much FDI to Pakistan. China will spend as I have come to know another 63 billing US dollars by the end of 2030 to complete all the projects including roads, railways, and airports including training to the local employees to learn the latest technology so that they can be engaged in CPEC projects.
Strategic analysts opine that CPEC is not only a game changer for the region but also a huge source of job provider to Pakistani skilled and non-skilled man power especially the job seekers from the Bluchisatn province which badly needs development. As per available reports, around 60,000 jobs have been created and more are in pipe line as the work progresses. Ten thousand Chinese engineers and technicians are working at CPEC projects with an aim to connect it with western China as soon as possible. Water shortage is being met through desalination plants being developed with the help of friendly Arab countries in the region. Local resources f water are also being tapped to meet the demand of the local population.
The Chinese government has decided in principle to spend one trillion US dollars for One Belt One Road Initiative connecting central Asia, Africa and Europe. This is the vision of Xi Jinping, president of People Republic of China., who has said that Pakistan to him is as important as China itself.
Meanwhile, both the Chinese and Pakistani companies are also keen to invest in economic zones being developed changing the industrial scenario of Pakistan for good. As per available reports, as many as 35 billion US dollars have so far been earmarked to develop the energy projects to meet the growing demand of electricity. Coal power project has been already completed providing energy to the national grid. The Qatar government has participated along with Chinese in the coal power project which shows that neighboring countries are also participating in the CPEC related projects. K1 and K2 nuclear power projects near Karachi are nearing completion. The Chinese ambassador said that we will not ignore or leave Pakistan come what may; the friendship is based on solid ground.
One thinks it is high time the USA and India should review their policies about CPEC in the larger interest of peace and economic development in the region. India should look deep into her affairs as more than half of Indian population is living in dire poverty and hunger, by exploiting anti-Pakistan elements in and around Baluchistan India will gain nothing. On the contrary, Modi’s India will suffer both politically and economically if she acts as an agent provocateur against the CPEC, the game changer for the entire region.