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Showing posts from December 8, 2019

CPEC hangover

CPEC is not losing charm at global forums. It is one of the much-debated projects among businessmen, scholars and policy makers. Unfortunately, most of times it is analyzed through biased and negative prism. Economic dimension remain sub-ordinate and geo-strategic dimension try to be dominant factor. It gives rise to conspiracy theories and sometime controversies. Leading factors contributing to conspiracy theories from Pakistan side are, a) lack of awareness campaign about dimensions of investment and creation of jobs, b) overselling of CPEC and c) poor planning and execution.Globally, debt trap, lack of transparency, environmentalissues and contribution of Chinese companies in national development are being used to create controversies. On awareness front Pakistan was unable to share the basic information at mass level. First all, there is general perception that it is sole investment of China, which is not true. According to data, when project was signed total committed contributi

CPEC: Overzealous China and hopeless Pakistan Bureaucracy

Under the  CPEC , China has taken care of Pakistan’s electricity requirements. Road network has expanded and continues to expand. Free Trade Agreement got underway on December 1. The CPEC second phase i.e. planning and execution for industrialization has commenced. The flagship venture under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) did encounter some hiccups but it is fully back on track as far as Beijing is concerned. Early November, the ground-breaking for the Gwadar airport and the power plant there also took place. Technical financial discussions for the ML-1 rail project are also underway. Despite skepticism in the west, more projects worth 100s of millions are also in the pipeline. That is the China part, unfolding gradually with unflinching commitment. But is Pakistan reciprocating? It is a fledgling and discomforting story, exemplified by a sad case study; since January, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved and been ready to extend nearly one billion dollar extr

Pakistan set for economic jumpstart under second phase of CPEC

Source: Xinhua |  2019-12-03 18:57:31 | By Raheela Nazir ISLAMABAD, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Since the inception of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan has been witnessing an unprecedented upward trajectory in the socio-economic domain, with a major uplift in the energy sector and transportation infrastructure over the past six years. Back in 2013, Pakistan was under acute energy crisis when the local industry was relocating to the neighboring countries, and some parts of the country were witnessing electricity load shedding of even 18 to 20 hours in a day. With the implementation of CPEC energy projects, Pakistan is now almost a load shedding free country. Similarly in 2013, the transport network was in dilapidated condition, causing an annual loss of about 3.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, according to local media. Under the first phase of CPEC, the transportation infrastructure has improved considerably through integrated road networks and upgradation of railwa

Religious tourism

Editorial December 09, 2019 EARLIER this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted Pakistan’s potential for religious tourism when a new policy of relaxing visa applications was announced. He spoke about the sleeping Buddha, the Katas Raj temples, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur as a few of the many religious sites that would be of interest to those belonging to the Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh religions. This speech was followed by the grand opening of the Kartarpur corridor on Nov 9, which facilitated a long-awaited pilgrimage for some 12,000 Sikh men, women and children from around the world. That same month, at a meeting with Buddhist monks from South Korea, the prime minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to promoting interfaith harmony and the pride it took in its Buddhist heritage. Most recently, the KP government has announced the setting up of the Gandhara Research Centre to promote religious tourism in the province. According to officials, the province boasts some 2,000 sites