Skip to main content

Kashmir issue puts Pakistan's Belt and Road projects on fast track

China will be pleased, but may not offer more than sympathy over disputed land

ADNAN AAMIR, Contributing writerAUGUST 18, 2019 20:05 JST

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly condemned India's recent downgrading of Kashmir's status from a state with some autonomy to two territories.   © Getty Images

QUETTA, Pakistan -- The government of Pakistan has announced plans to set up a body to expedite projects under China's Belt and Road Initiative.

The move is seen as part of an effort by Pakistan to enlist China's support over Kashmir, a territory split between Pakistan and India over which the two countries have tussled for decades.

On Aug. 8, Pakistan's National Development Council approved the formation of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority, which will be charged with fast-tracking Belt and Road projects.

In a statement, the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform said: "The CPEC Authority will institutionalize and take forward the cooperation on CPEC. [The authority] will be instrumental in efforts for the development and implementation of future CPEC plans." 

The government also approved the framework of the Gwadar Special Economic District and the formation of the National Coastal Development Authority, which will build tourist resorts near Gwadar. The port in Gwadar city is operated by a Chinese company and is the centerpiece of the economic corridor project.

The announcements are a sudden policy reversal: Over the past year, the government has cut funding for CPEC projects and ministers have spoken publicly about the need to review all such projects.

Experts see Pakistan's embrace of Belt and Road projects as tied to Kashmir. This decision comes just a few days after India revoked the semiautonomous status of its portion of Kashmir. Pakistan is counting on Beijing to press India over the issue.

"If there is an escalation due to the Kashmir issue, then it can affect investment climate in Pakistan, which will negatively affect Belt and Road," said James M. Dorsey, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. Dorsey added that this is the main reason China has expressed opposition to India's latest move in Kashmir.

Pakistan's government approved conceptual framework of the Gwadar Special Economic District.   © Reuters

Krzysztof Iwanek, Head of the Asia Research Center at the War Studies University in Warsaw, believes that Islamabad will need Beijing's assistance in its struggle with India over Kashmir. But he added that there are no major CPEC-related infrastructure projects underway in Kashmir at the moment. Iwanek said India's actions in the disputed territory do not pose a direct threat to the economic corridor.

The question is whether Pakistan's change of heart on CPEC projects will help it win China's support.

Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center in Washington believes Pakistan does not need to play the CPEC card to get China's backing on Kashmir. "Pakistan and China are both already unhappy because India has unilaterally changed the territorial status of land that is claimed by each country."

Kugelman said one major geopolitical consequence of the repeal of Article 370 of India's constitution, which granted the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status, is that China and Pakistan will become even closer partners.

The U.N. Security Council took up developments in Kashimir on Friday, after China called for a meeting. This shows that Pakistan's shift over CPEC may already be paying off. But it remains to be seen whether China can give Pakistan more leverage over Kashmir.

Dorsey believes that China will not be able to offer much to Pakistan on its own. " It all depends on the role of the U.S. government, and without its blessing China can't be of much help to Pakistan," he said.


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میںPlease help the deserving persons...Salary:Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows;Welder: Rs. 1,700 dailyHeavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyMason: Rs. 1,500 dailyHelper: Rs. 850 dailyElectrician: Rs. 1,700 dailySurveyor: Rs. 2,500 dailySecurity Guard: Rs. 1,600 dailyBulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyConcrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 dailyRoller operator: Rs. 2,000 dailySteel fixer: Rs. 2,200 dailyIron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 dailyAccount clerk: Rs. 2,200 dailyCarpenter: Rs. 1,700 dailyLight duty driver: Rs. 1,700 dailyLabour: Rs. 900 dailyPara Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 dailyPipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 dailyStorekeeper: Rs. 1,700 dailyOffice boy: Rs. 1,200 dailyExcavator operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyShovel operator: Rs. 2,200 dailyComputer operator: Rs. 2,200 dailySecurity Supervisor: Rs. 2,200 dailyCook for Chinese food: Rs. 2,000 dailyCook…

Historical relationship between Kurd and Baloch.

The Kurds are the ethnical group living in a region known as Kurdistan which is divided into Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran. They  are struggling for an independent region since decades and they are famous for their female guerrilla fighters.        On 25 September 2017, the referendum for an independent Kurdish region  was held in Iraq with a turn out of 72 %.   On this important occasion, the historical relation between Kurd and Baloch people is worth discussing.       When it comes to history, every nation tends to find its roots and origin. Same goes with the Baloch people. The Baloch people are always curious  about  finding their roots in history. Even if you  talk to a shepherd in Balochistan, he will be curious to talk about his  tribal or ethnical roots.      The Balochs have always conveyed the history to the next generations in different mediums like poems etc. No Baloch before 20th century had written books on  history  or origin of the Baloch nation .