Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
December 17, 2019

CPEC – A vision beyond economic security


December 17, 2019

Sikandar NooraniIt is hard to deny that geographical location of Pakistan is now determining its role at regional and global canvas. It denotes critically how beneficial or non-beneficial this country is to others in terms of the social, economic and political aspects. Strategically, Pakistan is located at such a significant geo-strategic point which happens to be the juncture of energy proficient and energy deficient countries. The geo-strategic importance of Pakistan gets further reinforced from the fact that it is bordered by emerging economic giants of the world i.e. India and China. Besides, a neighbourhood like Afghanistan and Iran, rich in natural resources mutually, contributes to the overall geo-economic outlook of entire region. Historically, it is evident that the very concept of a corridor has always been a source of development in many parts of the world. Economic corridors have emerged in recent years as an important tool of regional cooperation, integration and development in a globalised world with undeniable spirit of reciprocity. Vibrant projects like CPEC and OBOR under Chinese initiative have provided a valid reason to open the windows of cooperation among the regional players.

Defusing regional tensions by enhancing economic and cultural ties has remained a strong suggestion from few intellectual quarters. The idea must not be compromised by giving an undue advantage to the world’s so called self-styled largest democracy who is deeply involved in massive human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir, cross border terrorism and patronisation of proxies in neighbouring countries. Definitely, economic ties can help in reducing the probabilities of military clashes, which potentially might prove deadlier than our imaginations due to nuclear capability on either sides, but it is also a bitter reality that purposeful ties can never be built unilaterally.

Realistically viewing the ground factors, Pakistan very rightly moved forward to strengthen economic ties with China through CPEC. Despite having multi-dimensional irritants, like American deep interests as well as physical presence in the region, Pakistan courageously applied the wisdom to become part of a potentially dynamic regional economic project. Definitely, we need not to put all our eggs in the Chinese basket and must pursue the minutest possible details of the project with sharp precision. Indo–US offensive intentions towards CPEC are driven by serious concerns which can be understood by viewing CPEC through geo-strategic lens as the corridor provides an alternative route to link the important Central Asian Republics (CARs) Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, which are otherwise closely located to China. It provides equally good connectivity options to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Interestingly, and to the horror of New Delhi and Washington, CPEC has emerged as an antidote idea to the old myth that all roads from Pakistan into Central Asia go through Kabul or Wakhan.

CPEC provides immense opportunities to CARs to expand trade with Pakistan and also go through China for further trade expansion. It is not a vague idea conceived by ignorant and off-sighted brains in absolute isolation from ground realities. On the one hand, CPEC is progressing rapidly in Pakistan and on the other hand a positive approach has taken roots in CARs about the project .

Reportedly, CARs are all set to be part of CPEC in later stages. Abundance of natural resources in CARs like oil, gas, gold and precious metals multiply the investment potentials of all projects and industrial zones linked with CPEC. Obviously, the recent warmth in bilateral relations with Russia would further reinforce better prospects of wider regional connectivity through multilateral economy oriented projects. Pakistan has rightly emerged as a regional player standing tall against the storm of terrorism and simultaneously contributing heavily to build a durable economic connectivity all across the region. Unfortunately, India has proved herself otherwise by pursuing coercive policies against Pakistan and ultra-manipulative manoeuvring against smaller countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.

Modi regime went all out to incapacitate the forum of Saarc which caused additional tensions in the region. Vigorous pursuance of proxies in Afghanistan to destabilise Pakistan has so far fetched nothing good rather fuelled the fire in already war-ridden Afghan society. Pakistan is striving hard to fight out all the odds generated by India and standing as a flag-bearer of peace. Though, India has been persistently criticising upon CPEC by beating the dead horse with rotten argument that the corridor passes through the disputed territory of Kashmir, but her indirect involvement in any other regional connectivity project might help in reducing the probabilities of armed clash. The Modi regime should realise that by sponsoring terrorism and proxies against Pakistan or any other neighbour, India would practically spoil the regional peace. Likewise, standing along foreign forces like USA in Afghanistan, who are contributing to worsen the crisis against regional stakeholders, India can never explore a way forward to fetch peace back at home front.

By coercing Pakistan, Modi can temporarily satisfy the extremist hawks but cannot overcome the day by day worsening inner fissures spread all over the India including Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Mezoram and Nagaland. Undoubtedly, economic ties can serve as an effective sweetener against the bitter recipe of conventional or non-conventional war probabilities in South Asia. CPEC, being a game changer idea, would safeguard common interests and mutual benefits, by epitomising a model of cooperation, coordination and strategic communication not only between China and Pakistan rather it would inter-link Central Asia, North Africa, South Asia and Gulf states in subsequent phases under the banner of One Belt One Road projects. Undoubtedly, idea of binding regional players through economic ties can effectively counter the prevalent probabilities of war and violent clashes.

Topstory minus plus

Opinion minus plus

Newspost minus plus

Editorial minus plus

National minus plus

World minus plus

Sports minus plus

Business minus plus

Karachi minus plus

Lahore minus plus

Islamabad minus plus

Peshawar minus plus