Saeed Ismat, director of a UK-based think-tank says, 'CPEC is a great convergence point. This can create cultural and political harmony.' — Geo News FILE
LONDON: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) provides a rare opportunity for the ‘convergence of global civilisations’ with potential to transform lives of billions of people if the opportunities offered by this project are availed, speakers said at a conference in London.
The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the London Institute of South Asia (LISA) organised a joint conference which was addressed by members of think-tanks and professionals who are linked with the project. Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas was present at the conference and invited Britain to become a partner in the project.
Speakers looked at various aspects of the project and assessed the opportunities and risks related to the project that’s seen globally as a game changer in the region. They said that regional countries, neighbours, Europe and America can associate with the project and become part of the phenomenon that’s unfolding in the region as a result of the CPEC development.
Saeed Ismat, LISA's UK director, said that vision of the CPEC is huge and it is set to transform Pakistan and many other countries that have joined it. He said the corridor offers opportunities for the convergence of civilisation.
Ismat said there’s Russia on one side, Hindu civilisation is there, Pakistani and Muslim civilisation is there; there is China, Arab and European civilisation nearby to the project. “It’s a great convergence point. This can create cultural and political harmony.”
Stressing on the need for diplomacy to counter any conspiracies, he said that India and the United States need to be engaged diplomatically and Pakistani viewpoint explained to them for CPEC's success.
Ismat said that Pakistan has already invited India and Afghanistan to join the project and become its part, adding that it's in the interest of local powers to join Pakistan to end poverty and deprivations.
Pakistan-Britain Business Council’s Julian Hamilton Barnes said that opportunities are profound and massive investment will take place in infrastructure, fiber development, real estate and energy.
“CPEC brings enormous investment to Pakistan, there are enormous additional benefits; these projects create work and help economy. There are risks on the political side and political parties have to be brought together,” Barnes said.