The Rivals To The CPEC

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While the state-insurgents rivalry was still there, CPEC brought a greater deal of terror to Balochistan. In the recent two months, Baluchistan faced three major attacks. On April 18th, midnight, 14 passengers from a bus traveling from Gwadar to Karachi were identified as non-Baloch and were shot dead by a dozen unidentified gunmen in the coastal city Ormara, Baluchistan. 11 of them were from the Navy, Airforce and the Coastal Guards. The attack was later claimed by Baloch Raaji Ajoi e Sangar (BRAS), a coalition that includes Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and Baloch Republic Guard (BRG). BRAS was formed in December 2018 against the CPEC, the Chinese people working on the project and military of Pakistan’s interest in Balochistan.

The formation of coalitions of the insurgents in Baluchistan is more threatening to the security of CPEC and of the state. The fact that some of the insurgent groups operating in Balochistan are being funded by the political entities is another alarming situation as BRA is the militant wing of Baloch Republican Party headed by Brahumdam Khan Bugti. The links show the anti-national narrative of the lords there are trying to hold back Baluchistan to develop

On May 11th, around 4:50 pm, a report of three gunmen entering and firing in the Pearl Continental Hotel, Gwadar was reported. Four hotel employees and one Pak Navy soldier were killed in the attack leaving six injured. IEDs were used in the hotel destroying much of the infrastructure. The forces immediately arrived, killed the three terrorists, and safely rescued the people. Luckily due to Ramadan, not many people were present in the hotel. BLA claimed the responsibility of the attack stating their idea to attack the Chinese in the hotel.

Just two days later, an IED was exploded near a security vehicle in Quetta killing four policemen, leaving 12 injured. The blast went off during Taraweeh. The attack was claimed by Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

The ongoing terrorism in Pakistan has already damaged the continuity in stability. With the ongoing projects in CPEC, the non-state actors have been trying to affect the progress. After the CPEC process was started in 2013, there was a sudden rise in the terrorist attacks around the country which then came to a decrease after operation Zarb-e-Azb began after the APS attack in Peshawar.

Iran, Afghanistan, and India being the external stakeholders to CPEC are suspected to have funded the terrorism in Pakistan. The attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi on November 2018 claimed by BLA, had its support by Indian agency and was planned in Afghanistan. The continuous proof of RAWs involvement in the funding of the terrorist and insurgent organizations in Balochistan brings the economic insecurity of India on the table.

CPEC has its economic importance to China. CPEC will reduce the distance of the trade route of China to the Persian Gulf from 16,000 km to 5,000 km also speeding the trade with a decrease in the time the trade originally consumed.

As much is it is important for China, it is a threat to the USA’s economy. The Centre for Economics and Business Research has predicted China’s economy to surpass the US’s by 2029. The IMF and The World Bank has rated China as the world’s largest economy based on the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). The World Bank, in 2017 stated Chinas’ Global GDP to be the second largest, predicting the slow and gradual increase in next 10 years, with 14.9% and USA’s at the top with 25%.

Maybe this economic threat from China is one of the sole reasons of US’s calling back of the troops from Afghanistan, the invasion that has cost it $6 trillion.

Gwadar port is considered to be a game changer for the regional trade and economy. As for the regional animosity, just 72 km away from Gwadar port, Iran’s Chabahar port is under development with the Indian alliance in order to compete for the regional trade and accessibility. The impact of the recent and the future predicted investments in Gwadar from all over the world might have a strong impact on Dubai, UAE. The silent loss of investors here with the completion of CPEC and Gwadar port might bring a greater deal of economic crises to Dubai, as it is only based on tourism and business hubs. Leading to another regional rivalry.


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