CPEC – Enigma Episode 2


In a semi tribal society, like one we are part of which also has a low literacy rate, an evident amplified confusion course is in the air about most national issues, thanks to presence of an aggressive, juvenile and somewhat irresponsible mainstream media surrounded by venerable backdrop of a degenerate political structure similar to a cult following where personalities pave the way instead of principals, everything is all but set for igniting another showdown as it is quite easy to manipulate and create theatricals in presence of earlier described parameters which are powered by intentions of deception and are quite capable of giving birth to another controversy to even an apparent straight forward matter, let alone something as big and as significant as CPEC, thus we are expected to witness another episode of the same commotion in context of Pak-China economic corridor. We have already seen an earlier episode of political outcries and the way things are shaping, it looks like one more is about to knock the door.

Before going deep, one has to realize that importance of Pak-China economic corridor is way too bigger of anideathan most people normally comprehend.it is perhaps 2nd best only after Marshall plan of post 2nd world war era with even more plausible expansion of Chinese strategic interests in the region when compared with the nature of boost Marshall plan gave to American objectives in post WW2 Europe. Stakes will be much higher than ever because the actual intent of the project will be specifically providing Pakistan a launching pad for advancement and significant development in its socio-economic stature through the expansion of a chain of infrastructures and generation of economic activities.

This is the actual snap shot of the matter from Pakistani perspective, on a larger scale Gwadar and CPEC will have an intriguing impact on overall trade manipulation of South-East Asia & Gulf through gradual ease of load over strait of Hurmuz and establishing alternatives for China’s current major trade route i.e. strait of Malaka, therefore understandably entities who control current scenario are quite disturbed in this paradigm shift and are using all possible options to derail CPEC and Gwader. Irony of the matter requires objective approach with a rationale that supports logical intent to first identify and then marginalize all shadows which are casting doubts over $46 Billion worth of investment.

In the entire backdrops which is in development phase as of now, silent mobilization of political forcesison the CPEC matter seem to be on the horizon once again, ones who claim to be ethnic nationalists with an intent to create smoke screen around CPEC and repeated far cries regarding development of its routes. It all seems in cohesion with the terror strikes all across Pakistan,sprinkling of blood in in Lahore, Karachi and Quetta is part of it, for enemies of Pakistan a duo of doubt and fear will serve the order. It all seems quite familiar. Why do I say that? Because in past same elements took similar stance and applied similar tactics over Kalabagh dam and successfully sabotaged it, a water reservoir if in existence would have assisted a lot in overcoming major chunk of issues related to irrigation, droughts, floods and most of all power shortage.MrAsfandyaarWalihas little to contribute in national politics lately; an individual who was once was dreaming to become prince of Pakhtunistannow has a mere role of a street thug in this outset. ANP though out of sight these days yet it still carries the torch of resistance against CPEC routes. It has quite a deeper insight to it than what most people believe, it does make sense as after being swept out in previous polls because of their incompetency and corruption,ANP now strives to play any part what so ever to stay significant. One should also notice that segments of PTI in KPK which are raising similar grievances are originally defectors from ANP and PPP who migrated to PTI in search of better “opportunities”. Unfortunately, this is only what is left of PTI if one analyzes their role in national politics, a fan club of IK plus bunch of wandering opportunists. Their fundamental mindset is tunnel viewedat provincial nationalist politics which in larger context is unable to grant them understanding of grand objectives.

When analyzed in retrospect ANP’s politics is mainly based on riding the ethnic feud, origin of which begins with Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s political defeat during Pakistan movement by the hands of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and a startled Bacha Khan took it way too personally going deeply obsessed with Pakhtunistan dream. Khan Abdul Wali Khan carried the same flag for a long time, ANP under him was very determined & vocal about it, especially during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, people still remember Wali Khan breaking the news to the people of Pakistan that Soviet army will reach the bridge of Attock on their call if needed. AsfandYaarWali like a good son is carrying the legacy of his father and grandfather only apparent difference is that he probably is better business man than his family predecessors who spent bulk of their lives devoted to serve bruised family egos.

Again before jumping to any conclusion I would advise one should go through all the dynamics of the matter,  I would start with federal Planning minister Ahsan Iqbal’s  explained official government version of the CPEC routes, which can be found at Sound bytes: ‘Economic corridor will have multiple routes’, after going through it there are plain simple facts which can be deduced using common sense and should be put under consideration before raising any questions or concerns over any feature of the economic corridor:

CPEC is a strategic geo-political project primarily to enhance and protect Chinese trade and strategic interests; it’s not a federal development budget or NFC award where chunks of resources are supposed to be allocated for provinces. Money and directives will come from China, by China, for China and Pakistan will enjoy the fruits of lending the land but no way on God’s earth can influence the original Chinese intentions. Every grand project has contingency states and natural course of evolution associated with it, in an investment as big as CPEC similar aspects are visible, because of the long distance between Gwadar&Kashgher and at the same time considering the current fault lines from security point of view there will be alternate routes for trade to stay on course in occurrence with any serious mishaps on the primary path. Before the actual start of development there will be several options which will come to the table and will get discussed in detail with a perspective of picking the best one to serve the elementary goals with high level of efficiency and uninterrupted continuation of services, so becoming impatient and picking something which is still under consideration and evaluation and start creating fuss about it is quite immature and childish to say the least.

Recent bust of RAW’s KulbhoshanYadav is also the part of the same jigsaw puzzle, policy of fear and doubts is in play, foes of Pakistan will raise security concerns and compliment this notion with political surge by patting related back. It will keep the question mark alive and search for the answer will remain a continuous quest, flags should be raised in concerned corners of Pakistani security establishment

It’s a sure thing that there will always be room for some betterment in the original plan and one hopes the robust methodology gets applied and sanity prevails to minimize the risks and maximize the gains. But the people have to remember and understand that it will be within the scope of original objectives and allowed situational parameters, any misguided adventure or ill willed endeavor attempting to make CPEC controversial by creating some political circus around it like these elements did in the case of Kalabagh dam with final aim to disrupt this magnificent opportunity for Pakistan will be dealt with irony and rationale  People of Pakistan should beeducated with it accordingly by spreading the due awareness and separating facts from fiction while enlightening people about CPEC, its implication, potential and ramifications, one can easily contemplate that the entire task is still a colossal responsibility on the shoulders of nationalistic intellectuals of Pakistan. Whether they are up for it, only time will tell.


Ahsan Malik is an IT professional with a passionate & candid version of his own on national and international issues relating to Pakistan, he tweets @MohdAhsanMalik and can be reached at m.ahson.malik@gmail.com

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