CPEC and Balochistan

Published on – October 11, 2018 – 7:00 am

During a joint session to review development projects under CPEC Balochistan Government and Chinese Officials agreed upon immediate steps to resolve issues causing delays in China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

During a joint session to review development projects under CPEC Balochistan Government and Chinese Officials agreed upon immediate steps to resolve issues causing delays in China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The high level session between representatives of Chinese and Government of Balochistan held on Tuesday headed by Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Aliyani and Chinese Counsel General Mr. Yao Jing. Installation of 300mw power plant in Gawadar, Gawadar Free Economic Zone,

Gawadar East Bay Expressway and security of Chinese Engineers and companies were thoroughly discussed during the one to one discussion session.

The session unanimously agreed upon to expand development projects under CPEC and Chinese Investment in the province with keeping in view the better interest of pople of Balochistan announcing hurdles causing delays in CPEC would be resolved on priorities. With the $2 billion that China will invest for port and business development in Gwadar, we should expect the country to share the fruits of prosperity.

Although China is not generally known as a charitable country, it must invest in the social uplift of the region in keeping with its strategic security and economic interests. China should at least help the authorities address the water and energy crisis in Gwadar without much delay.

CPEC must do economic justice to the people Balochistan, particularly those who live along the Makran Coast. If the coast is used to serve the needs of other people, it would be a grave source of betrayal to those who have historically lived in the region. Gwadar enjoys a strategic location on the Arabian Sea in Balochistan, accessible to South Asia, West Asia and Central Asia.

CPEC is central to Pakistan’s plan to move its economy forward in the right direction because of its magnitude and far-stretch outcomes. 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. There are dismal chances that Gwadar will be connected with rest of Pakistan, mainly Quetta, the seat of the Government, in near future.

The planners were found totally blank where to link the proposed Gwadar railroad link at any point close to the Provincial Capital or the national railway network. Hopefully, the new Government will also enjoy broader support from all quarters of plural society in running the public affairs with minimum chances to resolve the principal issue of Baloch conflict.

The Chief Minister will himself announce priorities of his Government when he meets the media people with regular intervals at public functions. However, he will continue to enjoy the support and backing from the coalition partners while facing tough resistance from Opposition Benches, mainly from the Balochistan National Party which is emerging as the most populist political party in Balochistan.

The Federal Government should come in help of the Province in a big way in resolving its pressing economic issues allocating generous funds for speedy development of Balochistan. The priority should be given to resolve the serious water crisis in Gwadar and its surrounding human settlements.

It was the Government responsible for mismanagement causing constant water crisis for the people of entire coastal region.

The Chief Minister, with his first available opportunity, should visit Gwadar and personally supervise plans to ensure water supply to the residents of Gwadar and its surrounding human settlements.

The priority should be to build big and medium size dams on all major seasonal rivers on the Balochistan Coast making water available not only for drinking, domestic uses and also for commercial and industrial use if it wants to develop an industrial and commercial base in and around Gwadar deepwater port.

Jam Kamal should bring huge funds from the PTI Government at the centre so that there should not by any shortage of funds for development, particularly for the unending Baloch Coast.