ANI | Islamabad [Pakistan] Dec 14, 2016 02:02 PM IST
The USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will just be another case of China using Pakistan to loot and plunder the people of Balochistan and simultaneously gain access to global markets, says a sensational report in a leading Pakistani daily,' Express Tribune'.
In a major report on the CPEC published by the Express Tribune, a senior Pakistani energy sector analyst, Mr Abdullah Ansari, said that while he has no doubt about the importance of the CPEC to Pakistan, the intense hysteria surrounding the realization or completion of the project to the cost of everything else, defies logic and reasoning.
"There's no doubt that CPEC is important for Pakistan and it plays a pivotal role in regional politics, but it has been blown out of proportion .. Everything that happens or does not happen, all relies on CPEC," Ansari writes.
He further states, "Our regime uses this hysteria-type approach for a reason; it provides them a lollypop that can be fed to the masses for all the right and wrong reasons. For example, Balochistan has experienced the worst terrorist activities in recent months, and the government's main point of discussion seems to remain CPEC .. CPEC-hysteria has aggravated to such intensity that we've failed to realise the obvious - was Balochistan peaceful before CPEC was initiated?
In his article, Ansari asks as to how can the Government of Pakistan describes the CPEC as being a game changer for the nation, and specifically for the largest province of Balochistan, and opines that this is a "senseless" claim.
"Another senseless claim made by the government is how CPEC is a 'game-changer' for the poor, deprived and neglected people of Balochistan. It seems that episodes of natural gas exploration from Sui and Reko Diq mine are on repeat telecast, which were also declared as 'fortune-turners' for the largest province of Pakistan. Years, in fact, decades - have passed and the living conditions of the local people are getting worse day by day."
"In my opinion, CPEC will be yet another addition to this list of game-changers that have brought nothing but loot and plunder for the people of Balochistan. You may call me the promoter of provincial disharmony, but it's a brute fact that Balochistan has always been treated as an unimportant, trivial and sometimes, unwanted part of Pakistan," he adds.
"Even if I look ahead with the hope of the CPEC dream coming true, I do not see Pakistan becoming a regional leader. CPEC is actually designed by China, for China. It will use Pakistan as a pathway to increase its access to global markets," Ansari says.
"Local entrepreneurs do not stand a chance at competing with an economy-of-scale manufacturer like China. With CPEC, China can access all of Pakistan, resulting in Chinese goods becoming even cheaper. CPEC is a trade route. If trade routes can turn the tables for nations, Egypt would have been the world's biggest power as it controls the Suez Canal which alone generates billions of dollars in revenue. The world is run by those who use that route - not by those who collect the toll tax," he concludes.
The CPEC is a collection of projects currently under construction to facilitate trade along an overland route between Kashgar and Gwadar, through the construction of a network of highways, railways, and pipelines.
The corridor is intended to rapidly expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure, as well as deepen and broaden economic links between Pakistan and the People's Republic of China. It is considered to be an extension of China's ambitious One Belt, One Road initiative.
Pakistan has predicted that the project will result in the creation of upwards of 700,000 direct jobs between the years 2015 and 2030, and add 2 to 2.5 percentage points to the country's annual economic growth.