Pak China Economic Corridor – Hot Tubbing The CPEC Issue
Defining its far fledged friendship with China, Pakistan defines it as
“Higher than the Himalayas” – “Deeper than the oceans” & “Sweeter than honey”
as seen by Former Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed. However, the real scenario is that, its still a tight corner. Why does it have so many people hot tubbing it? The question still remains a mythical bunk.
CPEC Benefits to Pakistan – Debunking Myths
Let’s try to gauge this current hot topic from all possible angles. The dilemma is that there have been a lot of myths about it and apparently a lot of CPEC sceptics have been able to take the ball in their court by spreading incorrect information. But, the truth still remains unexplored.
Pakistan will End up being China’s Province
One of the biggest myth and controversial topic of Pak China Economic Corridor is that with all these developmental advances and propagation’s, Pakistan might end up being a province of China.
On the other hand, a major concern or hot topic that can be heard of is the issue of trade deficit of Pakistan with China. The critics believe that this is something of serious concern for Pakistan.
However, if we take a holistic view, that is not only limited to Pakistan. A lot of other leading nations do have trade deficits with China. So, this just simply seems to be a mythical bunk.
So, owing to the above stated fact, we can not say that the leading nations for instance USA or UK are somehow going to be a colony of china. Certainly not!
Apart from that the statistics show that China has always been interested in the development and solidarity of Pakistan from the beginning. Both the nations are believed to have a shared vision, and not just this, huge amounts of Chinese professionals are living in Pakistan and working for its solidarity.
The majority of these include the labor migrants, who will return to their nations upon successful completion of their tasks.
Pakistan has Minimum or no Consent at all
Another myth that is slowly taking hype is that Federal Government has no or minimum consent in these inter corridor activities and that the federal government fails to take sanction from the provinces. But, this also does not seem to be the case either.
The two nations are working collaboratively towards a common goals. Also, China has always proved to be a loyal partner so we can not simply just ignore those hard core facts.
Apart from that, another important fact that needs consideration is that as a matter of fact, China has made sure all provinces are invited and taken consent upon since the scratch, so that is simply not the case. A proof of the above stated statement is that in May 2017, the CM of all the four provinces under the leadership of PM, attended OBOR – One Belt One Road summit in China.
For the rapid growth and smooth running of the silk route, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, along with the Planning, Development & Reform Ministry of Pakistan have made joint working subsidiaries for the promotion of leading projects such as Gwadar or transport for instance.
Geo-Strategic Benefits Only for China and None for Pakistan
Another major myth that needs to be busted is that, this agreement has geo-strategic benefits for China only and Pakistan would not have any benefit from it what so ever. But, that is not the case.
Alongside all this, if we take a look at the statistics, CPEC brings an investment of about $35 billion. A lot of projects including energy and coal are part of its consideration. Also, it was only China who made us stand out and established the fact that Pakistan can be a good source for foreign investments.
Still there are others who see CPEC as an empty promise to Pakistan and also that it is making Pakistan too dependent on China. That too does not seem to stand out.
Planning and Development Member of Governance Tariq Hijazi, states that CPEC will result in an arrival of $46 Billion USD through foreign direct investment; which is a direct contribution towards Pakistan’s Economy. Moreover, the projects are expected to create 2.32 million jobs in Pakistan by the end of 2018.
CPEC Projects, a Myth or Reality
Consequently, the government officials, along with the military leaders believe that CPEC will put an end to the energy crisis Pakistan is going through. We can take the example of the coal power plant project in Baluchistan which is a proof of its concreteness.
However, the cynics say that although the projects are going on but they are still far beyond completion. There is no doubt in the fact that they would add to the economic stability and solidarity of Pakistan but will they make their way to completion or not?
This is what the critics are not sure about. Not just this, will they be as successful as these officials perceive they would be?
CPEC-Not a Pragmatic Approach
The fact that a lot of the areas that come under the silk route regime, have geology, weather & climate issues, which can be a major hindrance in its succession. On the other hand, Karakorum Highway is just a narrow patch, passing through extreme mountains, can not bear heavy traffic, so how would it bear such huge cargo shipments. So, in case if need arises, expanding this patch would not be elementary.
Another major consideration is the environmental effects this project would cost. The dwellers of Gilgit/Baltistan believe that it would be quite detrimental to the environment of these areas. According to them, it would disturb the ecosystem and would also be putting the livelihood of smaller communities at a huge risk.
Pak China Economic Corridor – Still a Dubious Matter
Though we can not ignore a lot of these facts that are pointing towards the downside of CPEC, but however we can not even deny its benediction at the same time.
Keeping in view the above risks and welfare, the answer is still not straightforward. Its never a win win situation when it comes to project such as CPEC, both the countries will need to put at stake one thing or the other.
However, for a developing nation such as Pakistan, one has to lose something to be better off. Although this might not be the case for China. What do you think?
Moreover, if you want to know more about CPEC – Pak China Economic Corridor, jump over to our detailed article on it.