Protecting CPEC | Editorial

Protecting CPEC | Editorial

The proposed involvement of Turkey’s participation in CPEC, along with the project’s expansion to Afghanistan, prompted India to protest even when it has no right to. The BJP-led government claimed that such developments are illegitimate and violate territorial integrity which is rather ironic considering that it has been illegally occupying the disputed region of Kashmir for decades. Perhaps the state should focus more on addressing the countless human rights violations against it rather than on making attempts to broadcast its stance.

In response to the baseless statement made, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs categorically rejected the claims made and condemned India for needlessly politicising the issue. With heinous crimes being committed in the disputed region by India itself, this seems like an attempt to deflect attention from the illegal occupation. Plus, it reflects the state’s insecurity regarding its position in the region.

The fact of the matter remains, progress on CPEC is ongoing and the hopes are that the second phase will be completed smoothly as well. Involving third parties will be beneficial since it will expand the scope of the corridor and bring in more investment and spearhead a new socio-economic era for the region in the future. There were some barriers that we faced after the attack on Chinese officials at the Karachi University but confidence has been restored.

On July 21, the Joint Working Group on International Cooperation and Coordination meeting was held and both sides, China and Pakistan, agreed upon expediting work on several projects. Accordingly, the Main Line 1 upgradation project was revived, and now the focus is on establishing Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Nine were decided upon but not a single one has been completed as of yet. These are monumental tasks and we are getting external help through third-party involvements, there is no problem with that. It will be advantageous for the region and bring in more investment that will ensure that the corridor is all-encompassing. In the meantime, our government must be transparent about why there is a holdup and what the hurdles are in the way of CPEC development.

Protecting CPEC | Editorial


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