News Analysis |
Pakistan has taken China into confidence over Saudi Arabia, Pakistan’s ally and a brotherly country, joining the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as a strategic partner, confirmed Information Minster on Friday. A leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and former interior and planning minister Mr. Ahsan Iqbal asked on twitter if China was on board about SA’s joining the CPEC. “Has China been taken into confidence? CPEC is a bilateral project in which induction of any other country has to have the concurrence of both sides.” Ahsan asked.
Has China been taken into confidence? CPEC is a bilateral project in which induction of any other country has to have concurrence of both sides. https://t.co/a23rOcLBC4— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) September 20, 2018
In response to Ahsan, Information Minister tweeted and said that Yes China has been taken into confidence, expansion of CPEC is in China and Pakistan interest. Pak will be a center of economic activity of this region, the era of darkness is over.
Yes China has been taken into confidence, expansion of CPEC is in China and Pakistan interest. Pak ll be a centre of economic activity of this region, era of darkness is over. https://t.co/m8AvLIuAEJ— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 21, 2018
The expansion of the project and increase in the number of partners is beneficial for both China and Pakistan. It will help generate economic activity and connect differently developed and developing economies. Pakistan, for being one of the core countries in the project, will particularly benefit from KSA and other countries’ investment since the country is economically struggling these days.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia has a history of bailing out Pakistan financially. In 2014, six months after Pakistan obtained its last IMF bailout, Saudi Arabia loaned it $1.5 billion that the government used to strengthen its rupee currency.
Saudi Arabia to become the Third Partner in CPEC
KSA agreed in principle to invest heavily in Pakistan after it was formally invited to join the Beijing-sponsored mega venture. This development took place during the first official visit of PM Imran Khan to KSA. Mr. Khan visited the kingdom and held meetings with important leaders and officials to increase cooperation between the two countries. Later on, Information Minister confirmed that “a high-level coordination committee has been constituted and it has the complete backing of the Saudi King, His Highness Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, as well as the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman] and PM Khan.” The purpose was to ensure SA’s role in the CPEC.
Read more: Why is US against CPEC?
Moreover, a high-level Saudi delegation comprising ministers for finance and energy as well as business heads would visit Pakistan in the first week of October to work out details of a grand economic partnership, Mr.Chaudhry said. Major investments from Saudi Arabia were expected, he added. It is also important to mention here that KSA was the first major country to have been formally invited to become a partner in the CPEC.