Skip to main content

Editorial: CPEC indignation

EditorialUpdated August 10, 2018

A recent angry statement issued by the government about “media reports questioning the viability of CPEC” has only fuelled scepticism, instead of addressing concerns.

The statement appears to be in response to a few articles that appeared in the international media regarding the terms on which loans have been given by China; the articles have questioned the ability of the Pakistani economy to service these loans.

For a number of years, former minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal had used similar language to swat away sceptical talk and all the questions raised about CPEC — to little avail. It is similarly useless for the caretaker government to resort to such indignant language.

The fact is that uncomfortable questions as well as pesky media commentary swirl around the entire CPEC enterprise because of the ▶sheer lack of transparency which characterises the project. Asad Umar, who is widely expected to be the next finance minister, has said publicly that his government will place all CPEC agreements before parliament; indeed, he must be held to this commitment.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

Once the project is discussed and debated in parliament, with greater details provided, much of the irritating analysis and commentary will automatically go away, provided that the information bears out what the government is telling the people and their elected representatives.

Additionally, the new government must also place before parliament the full text of the Long Term Plan that was finalised with the Chinese side in November 2017. The previous government may have touted CPEC as a ‘game changer’ for the country, but it made a mistake by deliberately concealing important details about the project at the same time.

If CPEC is indeed a ‘game changer’, it is all the more imperative that its terms and conditions, and other details, be known, understood and debated by all stakeholders, including the public, when the next government begins its rule.

When the government tries to advance the project under opaque conditions, feeding a largely cosmetic public relations line to us all, then it naturally arouses suspicion and scepticism. One of the big challenges for the incoming government, therefore, is to remove the veil of secrecy wrapped around the project and encourage a more inclusive conversation.

That is what will finally settle this whole debate about what exactly the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is, and how Pakistan can best manage it to serve its own interests.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2018


https://www.dawn.com/news/1426136

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Balochistan to establish first medical university

https://www.dawn.com/news/1366135

The Newspaper's Staff CorrespondentOctober 25, 2017QUETTA: The provincial cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft for establishing a medical university in Balochistan.Health minister Mir Rehmat Saleh Baloch made the announcement while speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.“The cabinet has approved the draft of the medical university which would be presented in the current session of the Balochistan Assembly,” he said, adding with the assembly’s approval the Bolan Medical College would be converted into a medical university.Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2017

5 Shia Hazara community members gunned down in Pakistan

http://m.hindustantimes.com/world-news/5-shia-hazara-community-members-gunned-down-in-pakistan/story-CHWR4lYByRHzf2KjHjMloI.html



Five members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.This is not the first time that members of the Hazara community have been targeted in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.(Reuters File Photo)Updated: Sep 11, 2017 00:20 ISTBy Press Trust of India, Press Trust of India, KarachiFive members of the minority Shia Hazara community, including two women, were killed on Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.The gunmen targeted a car in Kuchluck area of Quetta while it was coming from the Chaman border crossing area, police said.The firing took place when the travellers had stopped at a filling station to refuel their vehicle. Five people of the Shia Hazara community, including two women, died in …

China’s 'Digital Silk Road': Pitfalls Among High Hopes

https://thediplomat.com/2017/11/chinas-digital-silk-road-pitfalls-among-high-hopes/


Will information and communication technologies help China realize its Digital Silk Road?By Wenyuan WuNovember 03, 2017In his speech at the opening ceremony of China’s 19th Party Congress, President Xi Jinping depicted China as a model of scientific and harmonious development for developing nations. Xi’s China wants to engage the world through commerce but also through environmental protection and technological advancement. This includes Beijing’s efforts to fight climate change with information and communication technologies (ICTs) that it plans to export along its “One Belt One Road” initiative (OBOR). Xi may have ambitious plans, but could China be throwing up obstacles in its own way?In his speech, the Chinese president emphasized the need to modernize the country’s environmental protections. The Chinese state is taking an “ecological civilization” approach to development and diplomacy, with a natio…