Skip to main content

Safety first on CPEC


https://nation.com.pk/.

With the virus outbreak overlapping with the Chinese New Year vacations for many of them, the 14-day quarantine period was followed by Chinese workers leading up to the first half of February

19 hours agoKK Shahid
Safety first on CPEC
   

A two-member task force from Islamabad on Monday met with Pakistani students stuck in Wuhan, the Chinese city which became the hub of the outbreak of coronavirus last month. The Pakistan Embassy in Beijing confirmed that four Pakistani students in Wuhan, who can contracted the virus, have recovered completely.

The death toll from the virus crossed 2,000 on Tuesday. Over 70,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported over the past month, with 80% of them being mild. While the frequency and the intensity of the virus’ spread has been gradually curtailed over the past couple of weeks, the precautionary measures continue to be taken around the world.

The ramifications were grave for Pakistan from the get-go, given the frequency of trade and other exchanges with neighbouring country China. Pakistani traders have reported massive losses over the past month given the travel restrictions in place.

$1.5 billion worth of imports are brought in by Pakistani traders every month, with customs clearances taking significantly longer this month. Last fiscal year, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $15.6 billion.

Under these circumstances, the most pertinent question marks have been slashed over the $62 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the impact the spread of virus would have on the projects.

In addition to thousands of other Chinese citizens working in other projects in the country, and thousands of Pakistanis that travel to China for work and other engagements, around 15,000 Chinese individuals have been working exclusively on CPEC projects.

With the virus outbreak overlapping with the Chinese New Year vacations for many of them, the 14-day quarantine period was followed by Chinese workers leading up to the first half of February. The work on CPEC projects was temporarily halted at the end of January, most notably in South Punjab.

As far as progress on CPEC is confirmed, the coronavirus epidemic couldn’t have come at a worse time. After more than a year of dillydallying, which saw Beijing express its concerns with regards to the progress on the projects in conversations with the incumbent Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the second phase of CPEC was officially unveiled at the turn of 2019.

The second phase focuses on the development of nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) across the country. Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Punjab’s SEZ.

Given Pakistan’s geographical and commercial proximity with China, it was considered a matter of time before a coronavirus case is reported in the country. Furthermore, given the lack of health infrastructure and mechanisms needed to cope with a potential spread of the virus in the country, alarm bells have been ringing over the past month throughout the country – with regards to a coping strategy to deal with the epidemic, and also vis-à-vis the pursuance of commercial obligations with China on CPEC and elsewhere.

Even so, where 27 countries have so far reported coronavirus cases at the time of writing, Pakistan isn’t one of them. The country, however, remains on high alert, with government officials maintaining that even though the virus is yet to impact the country, they are taking the required safety precautions.

“We were concerned given that there is massive traffic between Pakistan and China, especially owing to CPEC. Around 50,000 Chinese individuals work in Pakistan. All of those in in Punjab, in addition to the Chinese security personnel, have been thoroughly screened,” said Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid.

There has been criticism of the government’s dealing of the crisis with regards to the safety of the Pakistanis in China. While the diplomatic task-force managed to travel to Wuhan to check in with the Pakistanis stuck there, the government’s earlier lack of proactivity in helping out its citizens in China had initially come under the spotlight.

Critics argued that the government was avoiding taking any step that might offend Beijing. Multiple reports and government officials have confirmed that the delay over CPEC irked the Chinese government as well. In fact, the incumbent Pakistani government’s initial suggestions that it wanted a review of the CPEC agreements had offended Beijing.

However, government officials and party insiders maintain that the health and welfare of Pakistani citizens comes first.

“According to International Health Regulations, when an outbreak of international concern is declared, it has certain implications. But [so far] the implications have not restricted travel or trade [because of] the way China has handled the outbreak,” said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza.

“They put in place public health measures, and they have actually implemented it. We are very very appreciative of what China has done. China has saved the world… from a lethal pandemic.”

Comments

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 .
        Balochs…