May 10, 2017

CPEC: An opportunity for Pakistan


Muhammad Haroon

Ever since the embarkment of globalization, it has become impossible for countries to operate in isolation. Today majority countries of the world are determined to work together for a better world and in the process they are strengthening there own economies as well. Pakistan is also looking for ways of international cooperation which not only increase its stakes in the world but benefit it on the domestic grounds as well. Pakistan does have its share of troubles as well. For instance, Pakistan is facing challenges in the field of education and export sector moreover; it is also facing external challenges in the financial and energy sectors. But on the brighter side political stability has improved the political environment in the country. Previously, the independent reports of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have recognized Pakistan’s strengthening economy.
According to IMF, CPEC will improve the investment and energy availability. IMF suggested Pakistani to improve its tax revenues along with taking concrete steps to improve the export sector. After Dubai session, IMF revealed that Pakistan cannot achieve its targets of economic growth in the current eco year, whereas government should accelerate its strategy to implement economic reforms. To overcome these crises we have CPEC “On Belt One Road” that can help Pakistan to overcome this economic crisis as it has been discussed in the last session of ECO held at Islamabad.
ECO members expressed their resolve to strengthen CPEC and urged to solve the issues of terrorism and political rifts between member states as well. Members took the decision to increase cooperation in different areas including power, infrastructure and trade it has also been decided with consensus that ECO will collectively resolve issues pertaining threats to democracy, discriminatory visa policies and especially economic sanctions. If all ECO members cooperates by utilizing the platform provided by CPEC then progress of Pakistan as well as collective progress of the nations concerned will be logical.
Pakistan stock exchange has crossed thousand of points in different intervals that rank Pakistan as one of the largest regional economy. According to PM Nawaz vision of 2025, PML (N) will make Pakistan as 20th largest economic of the world. According to intelligence reports during last year Pakistan stock market improved 46 %, 50 % of poverty reduced and development is recorded as 4 %. According to “The Long View” report, Pakistan ranks 20 in the list of 32 developing world economics and it has the potential to improve its economy in a long run. All these targets can be achieved by utilizing CPEC’s fruits.
On the other side if Pakistan sees the propaganda of external actors directed towards CPEC than the Indian act of highlighting Chabahar Sea Port as operational serves as a good way of diverting the attention of Iran and Afghanistan from CPEC. The West and Israel had considered the possibility of getting the assistance of extremist BJP to help them pressurize Pakistan and China in coming future, but joining of CPEC by Russia has marred their plans. India and Afghanistan wants to destabilize Pakistan and spread terrorism in the country to fail CPEC.
In order to ensure CPEC water security, Pakistan Navy has conducted 6th intelligence war game exercise “Peace 2017” that boasts the participation from 37 countries. Russia also has strengthened itself all over Asia and showed its willingness to join CPEC which is a major set back for India in this regard. For this India will make every effort to undermine Pakistan national security more intensely after CPEC initiative than ever. Therefore, Pakistan needs safe water-ways for the long term trade activities. All these precautionary measures will lead Pakistan towards economic and long term stability by ensuring water and trade security via trade routes.
No doubt CPEC can be a game changer for Pakistan’s economy. It not only serves the economic purposes for nation but it also creates a strong standing for Pakistan on international realm. However, being the centre of attention of the world particularly the neighbouring countries, it should keep itself prepared for any tactical moves of its neighbours. Moreover, Pakistan should utilize its diplomatic channels effectively to communicate the significance of CPEC for regional stability and well being of concerned countries

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