News Analysis |
Army Chief of Pakistan, General Qamar Javed Bajwa sets off for a three-day official visit to China. “During the visit, COAS will interact with various Chinese leaders including his counterpart,” Major General Asif Ghafoor, the military spokesman, tweeted late on Sunday. The visit is of grave significance especially after an article by Financial Times quoted the advisor to PM Abdul Razzak Dawood, a designation equivalent to that of a federal minister, saying that government is mulling over halting the progress on CPEC projects to review the terms of the agreement.
The article created a massive stir in the government and diplomatic circles which lead to Mr. Razzak’s statement that his comments are taken out of proportion. China unveiled an extensive project worth billions of dollars to connect China with Central Asia leading all the way to Europe via a land route.
A part of this ambitious project was to unburden itself from shipping the export good through the Straits of Malacca, a contested water region with a concentration of marine forces especially of the United States which may lead to choking to route in a time of crisis. Pakistan, because of its geographical location, became the center of most widespread $62 billion Chinese investment related to BRI.
It is vital for both Pakistan and China to work out the feasible plan and listen to each other’s concerns as there are, in the form of Kulbhushan Yadav, and there will be attempts to sabotage the project.
Recently countries like Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Malaysia expressed reservations over the conditions pertinent of Belt and Road initiate with Malaysia going to cancel several projects under BRI at point blank. Pakistan Army has extended its operation along the ancient Silk Road, which is central to the CPEC, for the security of CPEC projects. General Bajwa’s presence in China, especially after the fiasco, will help calm the Chinese nerves as their largest investment so far related to this mega project was at stake after the speculations.
CPEC is central to Pakistan’s plan to move its economy forward in the right direction because of its magnitude and far-stretch outcomes. But it also remains a fact that there needs to be a reevaluation of the policies regarding the project and the immense tax breaks and leverages which Chinese companies have got under this project could be lethal for the domestic market.
Over the course of seven decades, the policy makers and people in power have not been able to decide whether to lean Pakistan’s economy on the agricultural or industrial side of the realm. Due to the reason right now, the country is standing in the middle of nowhere. If the policies are not renewed which give some sort of breathing space for the local industry, then in coming years it would be almost impossible for a domestic producer to compete for the Chinese market.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game changer in literal meaning but it needs to be made sure that both sides get their due share. There are certain points which need a reevaluation but the way western media is projecting the Chinese footprint in terms of “debt centered diplomacy” speaks the bias because their economic hegemony is under threat. It is vital for both Pakistan and China to work out the feasible plan and listen to each other’s concerns as there are, in the form of Kulbhushan Yadav, and there will be attempts to sabotage the project.
General Bajwa’s presence in China will strengthen the message that all institutions of Pakistan support and endorse the CPEC project and it will not be allowed to fell under the mirage of conspiracies.