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CPEC- Profitable or Unsustainable?

BY: ZILLE SABOOR

We all have heard about a new and the massive project between world’s two steadier friends – China and Pakistan. The corridor is intended to rapidly expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure, as well as strengthen the links between China and Pakistan. CPEC aims to facilitate trade along an overload route that connects Kashgar and Gawadar, through the construction of network of highways, railways and pipelines.

This economic corridor will play a crucial role in regional integration of Greater South Asia. The Chinese are not only offering to build much-needed infrastructure, but are also making a key partner in its grand economic and strategic ambitions.

Pakistan plans to train 12000 security personnel to protect Chinese workers on the corridor. Presently, 8000 Pakistani security officials are deployed for the protection of over 8100 Chinese workers in Pakistan.

Many people of Pakistan still approach CPEC with a sense of cautious optimism. Nearly all say CPEC is a game changer, but some ask for whom? In the context of geopolitical prize, China finances and builds the projects, while Pakistan pays in term of social and political disruption and loss of innocent lives. Given the strategic importance of Gawadar-Kashgar corridor to china, this component of One-Belt-One-Road will surely be completed because it is motivated by more than just economics.

I tried to show all factors of CPEC in a neutral way. This geopolitical compulsion should generate a political will to undertake tough economic reforms in Pakistan and also ensure that CPEC is sustainable and profitable for the country.
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