The reliable and steadfast friendship between China and Pakistan is considered as an example all over the world and the economic benefits of this friendship for Pakistan are getting more eminent day by day under the recent agreement of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor investment project signed between the brotherly nations.
The rising of China as an international economic power is proving advantageous for Pakistan. Regardless of the detrimental law and order situation in Pakistan, Chinese investment is increasing. Along with the governments of both the countries, the business leaders of private sectors are also playing an important role in strengthening economic relations.
Analysts believe that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a game changer as it would not only transform the destiny of the people of Pakistan but that of the entire region too. The CPEC would benefit the entire country, including Sindh as motorway would reach Karachi passing through the interior of the province.
Moreover, the CPEC would pass through Rattodero, which was also in Sindh. No part of the country would be ignored and all propaganda against the CPEC would die down soon, they said.
Blessing in disguise
Energy projects are the major component out of the four umbrella projects of CPEC which would not only help resolve the lingering power crisis but also open new doors of progress and development in the country. A total of 8,000MW electricity projects of different sources including hydel, wind, solar and coal were being undertaken. Upto 5,200MW coal-based project, 1,600MW hydel project, 1000MW solar energy and 200MW wind energy project would be initiated under the China-Pak Economic Corridor.
Analysts said the good news is that all national institutions were on the same page as far as national agenda was concerned, and that was why Pakistan had gained unprecedented achievements during the last two and a half years and the CPEC was one of them. The CPEC was a positive project which would change Pakistan’s destiny along with the entire region, and its enemies would bite the dust. According to them, the CPEC was not only reflective of the deep-rooted and strategic relations between the two countries, but also their desire to cement that relationship for the benefit of their peoples.
The CPEC was a national project which had long-term implications on the development of Pakistan and the government wanted to ensure that all the provinces and parts of the country benefit from it. The project would also promote peace, prosperity and cooperation in the region in which Pakistan and China were located.
Connectivity, the analysts said, was a key to development and progress, and the “CPEC addresses this fundamental aspect which bodes well for the country.”
The CPEC was a flagship project of this government which would not only usher in a new era of prosperity in the country, but also strengthen the relations between Pakistan and China. The CPEC is not just about economic development but it will also strengthen media, information and culture links between the two countries. So the information and cultural corridors are parts of the CPEC, analysts opined.
Issues and challenges
According to Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was not only name of road or a single project but a full-fledged package including roads, maritime and air routes besides power generation and industrial progress. The CPEC would not only help transform Pakistan into the safest heaven for investment including foreign investments but also usher in a new era of socio-economic prosperity in the entire region. The CPEC would also help Pakistan to emerge as hub of trade and investment besides propelling country’s exports.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Punjab Organiser Chaudhary Mohammad Sarwar has issued a fact sheet about the additional cost of one billion dollars on three different parts of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and asserts that it is the biggest corruption scandal in the history of Pakistan. He said now no one could expect any good from the incumbent rulers.
Chaudhary Sarwar has demanded that a parliamentary committee comprising of treasury and opposition members should be constituted to create a check and balance on the financial issues in the project. He said that the increase in cost of the project should be investigated by the judges of the Supreme Court and all those responsible for the increase should be held accountable. Issuing a fact sheet, Chaudhary Sarwar said that the incumbent rulers were busy in befooling the masses while raising slogans that they were eliminating corruption. He said that the people were now tired of listening to rulers’ mega corruption scandals and wanted that all corrupt should be brought to book.
According to media reports, Chaudhary Sarwar said 392-kilometre Multan-Sukkur section of the Lahore-Karachi Motorway cost was finalised at Rs315 billion but now secretly this cost has increased by Rs56 billion. Similarly,120-km Havelian-Thakot road project was finalized at Rs95 billion but now has increased by Rs46 billion given for this section of the motorway. While the cost of allied infrastructure in the Mullah Band area of Gwadar rose three times from Rs835 million to Rs2.2 billion. He said that according to media report the price of those three CPEC projects rose 23 percent higher from original approved cost.
Chaudhary Sarwar said that most surprising factor of this cost increase was that it was not approved by the ECNEC but a draft was sent to ECNEC Chairman and was approved on a public holiday. He said that corruption could never be eliminated from the country in the presence of incumbent rulers and regretted that the rulers were now also using the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project to satisfy their instinct for corruption. He said that the PTI will continue raising its voice against corruption and expose every corrupt person in the country.
Spokesman to Prime Minister Musaddiq Malik said all the development under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was transparent and free of corruption. He said the projects were advertised properly and all the contracts were being given on merit while some foreign countries were also working in CPEC. He said people would get job opportunities and as a result unemployment would reduce in the country.