Skip to main content

Balochistan & CPEC: China's Achilles' Heel

Read on App


Agencies
As many as 92% of Balochistan districts are classified as high deprived. Even the gas-rich Dera Bugti district has the lowest HDI in Pak. Balochistan has the lowest literacy rate (43%), including the least net enrolment rate for primary schools.

Synopsis

The progress on CPEC has reportedly slowed down due to the economic downturn, restrictions by the IMF’s bail-out programme on fresh borrowings, outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Beijing also appears hesitant to take up new projects due to bureauc...

Situation in BalochistanPakistan’s biggest province, could emerge as Achilles' Heel for China’s mega BRI and its jewel in the crown CPEC.

The progress on CPEC has reportedly slowed down due to the economic downturn, restrictions by the IMF’s bail-out programme on fresh borrowings, outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Beijing also appears hesitant to take up new projects due to bureaucratic inertia and security concerns.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chinese authorities remain concerned over increasing Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) activities and possible revival of the Sindh Revolution Army. Besides risk of Covid-19 infection among security personnel deployed for CPEC security and slow pace of progress on Gwadar Safe City project are the other challenges. There is lack of progress on cross regional cooperation mechanism between Xinjiang and Gilgit-Baltistan following Pak’s failure to nominate its representative despite China appointing its representative in 2018.

Recently Pakistani media reports also referred to fencing around Gwadar port. There are allegations that the fence is being erected to safeguard assets at the behest of China. “The master plan for Gwadar includes three special zones, known as the Gwadar Port Free Zone (2,280 acres), GIEDA Industrial Zone (3,000 acres) and EPZA export processing zone (1,000 acres). As part of the infrastructure development programme for these three zones, a series of projects are envisioned, including construction of roads, utilities, warehouses and security. In the project description, fencing is given as one of the elements of the security plan,” according to a report titled What’s up in Gwadar published in The Dawn on Thursday.
ADVERTISEMENT

But notwithstanding mega plans Balochistan remains backward and alienated. According to the Pakistan Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Balochistan currently produces 17%, but consumes only 7% of total national gas supply. Out of 32 district headquarters of Balochistan, 13 towns have natural gas facilities.

The natural gas from Sui, Dera Bugti was piped out of province 50 years ago, but even today the peripheral and outlying areas of Sui town rely on wood fuel. Access to electricity in the province is 25%. The federal government had promised to transfer 20% shares in the Saindak Project to the province after 2012, but it has extended the lease agreement with the Chinese company even without consulting the provincial government.


There are apprehensions that Chinese would outnumber the natives in Balochistan. Real estate investors from Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad have started purchasing land in the region at exorbitant prices following the construction of the Gwadar port.

Balochistan covers almost 44% of Pakistan’s total landmass but its average road density is just 0.16 as compared to 0.32 of the national average. The province continues to face acute water scarcity with water shortage and recurrent water droughts threatening the region’s agriculture driven economy.
ADVERTISEMENT

Balochistan is the least developed province in terms of Human Development Index (HDI), with the lowest HDI score of 0.421 as compared to Punjab’s 0.732, as mentioned in UNDP 2017 Report. According to official reports, 71% of Baloch people were living in multidimensional poverty as compared to 31% in Punjab. Balochistan’s unemployment rate was 33.40% as against 19.1% in Punjab.

As many as 92% of Balochistan districts are classified as high deprived. Even the gas-rich Dera Bugti district has the lowest HDI in Pak. Balochistan has the lowest literacy rate (43%), including the least net enrolment rate for primary schools.

Infant and maternal mortality rates in Balochistan are highest in South Asia and its people are routinely dying of preventable diseases like typhoid, cholera, hepatitis. Although Balochistan makes up 44% of Pak’s total landmass, it has only 20 members out of a total 342 in the Pak National Assembly. The overall share of Balochistan in CPEC is only 4.5% and if the Gwadar port, airport and Hubco projects are excluded then total provincial share is reduced to a meagre 01%.
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/balochistan-cpec-chinas-achilles-heel/articleshow/80049872.cms

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 yo

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میں Please 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 daily Heavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Mason: Rs. 1,500 daily Helper: Rs. 850 daily Electrician: Rs. 1,700 daily Surveyor: Rs. 2,500 daily Security Guard: Rs. 1,600 daily Bulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Concrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Roller operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Steel fixer: Rs. 2,200 daily Iron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 daily Account clerk: Rs. 2,200 daily Carpenter: Rs. 1,700 daily Light duty driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Labour: Rs. 900 daily Para Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 daily Pipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 daily Storekeeper: Rs. 1,700 daily Office boy: Rs. 1,200 daily Excavator operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Shovel operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Computer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Security Supervisor: Rs.

A ‘European Silk Road’

publication_icon Philipp Heimberger ,  Mario Holzner and Artem Kochnev wiiw Research Report No. 430, August 2018  43 pages including 10 Tables and 17 Figures FREE DOWNLOAD The German version can be found  here . In this study we argue for a ‘Big Push’ in infrastructure investments in greater Europe. We propose the building of a European Silk Road, which connects the industrial centres in the west with the populous, but less developed regions in the east of the continent and thereby is meant to generate more growth and employment in the short term as well as in the medium and long term. After its completion, the European Silk Road would extend overland around 11,000 kilometres on a northern route from Lisbon to Uralsk on the Russian-Kazakh border and on a southern route from Milan to Volgograd and Baku. Central parts are the route from Lyon to Moscow in the north and from Milan to Constanţa in the south. The southern route would link Central Europe with the Black Sea area and