CSS Solved Current Affairs Past Papers | Discuss the project idea CPEC which is a great leap forward of economic regionalization in the globalized world. Explain its potential advantages, cDiscuss the Project Idea CPEC which is a Great Leap Forward of Economic Regionalization in the Globalized World. Explain its Potential Advantages, Challenges and Future Prospects.
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The following question sheds light on how CPEC is helping to boost regionalization in the globalized world along with the potential challenges that it faces and future prospects.
- ✓ Internal Challenges
- The Balochistan Conundrum
- Strained Civil-Military relations
- Infrastructural Deficiencies
- Militancy threats
- ✓ External Challenges
- Indo-US Influence
- International Proxy wars
- Hostile Afghanistan
3- Future Prospects and Advantages
- ✓ Economic growth
- ✓ Employment Opportunities
- ✓ Promotion of tourism
- ✓ Regional Connectivity
Answer to the Question
Pakistan is an agricultural country gifted with a huge number of natural resources. The country has been through ups and downs over the last several years, especially in case of economic downfall, but it has always tried to fight back. Pakistan has faced the number of challenges from the time of its independence till date. Challenges include major issues regarding terrorism, refugees and, most importantly, economic instability. Pakistan is one of a developing countries, which is still to develop a lot. For good and efficient progress, the country must be economically strong to deal with any future problem. This project is the opening door for the economy of Pakistan. CPEC will benefit both trading partners. Through this project, China will be able to maintain its dominance in the market. It will also help to attract other foreign investors to invest in such other projects, which turns out to be beneficial for both countries. This initiative will obviously help in the increment of direct foreign investment from other developed countries. CPEC is termed as advantageous to bring impact overflow in investment in Pakistan from countries other than China.
“CPEC’s Long-Term Plan (2017-2030) was formulated by the center with little input from local leaders, business or civil society actors.”
Pakistan has been facing a severe energy crisis for a long time. Due to this, a number of industries have been shut down. This has resulted in unemployment deteriorating lifestyle, and an increasing crime rate. The infrastructure and energy projects will eventually result in the opening up of new industries and increasing employment opportunities for the betterment of the economy.
A- Internal Challenges
One of the biggest challenges faced by Pakistan due to CPEC is the internal security challenge. The reason connects back to the rising issue of terrorism in the country. The part of the country where CPEC is initiated is one of the major points where enemies of Pakistan reside, specifically Afghanistan. The huge investment of China in CPEC is obstructed by alarming conditions in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Western parts of China. China is trying hard to bring the Taliban to bring on the negotiable table. The security conditions in Afghanistan are getting worse day by day. Since the time Mullah Mansoor, the leader of the Taliban, got killed, there are quite a few chances that the Taliban will negotiate. In addition to that, the backing out of NATO forces from Afghanistan is another reason for the Taliban not agreeing on negotiations.
- The Baluchistan Conundrum
The long-running insurgency in Baluchistan is the foremost hurdle towards completing the economic corridor. This insurgency is an excellent issue in question for both Baluchistan and the Federation of Pakistan. The resolving of security matters is the imperative step towards CPEC. The case is that Baluchistan thinks that it’s only China and the people of China who will benefit from CPEC and not the population of Baluchistan. Such deprivation, along with the involvement of foreign countries and not getting help, is the central aspect behind Baluchistan not supporting this project. The demand of Baluchistan could only be met by introducing sane policies for integration among the people of Pakistan as a whole and the people of Baluchistan. The political and economic deprivation is the only reason behind the security conditions in Baluchistan. Baluchistan feels like a leftover province.
- Strained Civil-Military Relations
Pakistan has been under military control for several previous decades. Pakistan has faced a military dictatorship, which has affected the democratic liberty of the people. However, the civil-military differences within Pakistan were a big challenge. For a million-dollar project to be implemented, both branches should work together to maintain harmony in the country. The criticism of the military over Pakistan’s federal government work and apparatus seems like history is repeating itself once again. This stance of the military was also criticized as impeaching the rule of separation of powers with increasing institutionalizing role of the military in the country’s political system.
Despite the above-mentioned differences, both these institutions have eventually decided to work together just for the progress of the country. The military has announced a special force division to provide security to all Chinese personnel working on the CPEC project. The government understand the threats and security concerns to this project and hence has agreed to work together for the betterment of the economy.
“China’s understanding with the military’s help for jihadist intermediaries might wind down.”
- Infrastructural Deficiencies
The infrastructure deficiencies in the mountainous terrains of Baluchistan and KPK would also be a big challenge. Particular attention should be paid to infrastructure developments by both the government and keeping the expected economic activities from the corridor in view. This would require a stable, congenial and secure environment and peaceful security situation. As the Pakistan-China economic corridor project will require time to be fully functional, speculations and predictions circulating and resonating in the media and policy circles of major stakeholders must be countered.
- Militancy Threats
A huge group of militancy stretches from Xinjiang to Gwadar consisting of major militants groups such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Daesh (ISIS), Baluchistan Liberation Front (BLF) and other militant wings of political parties within Pakistan. Most of these groups may not have an enmity with China itself but rather intend to use attacks on Chinese interests like CPEC as a means to deal with the Pakistani State. The real threat for China is the security of Gwadar port, where the project is to function in actuality. As the past events show, the operations against terrorism have proved quite beneficial in eradicating this problem, but the blueprints of terrorism still could be felt in areas that are passersby for CPEC. The support of the American CIA, Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad has always proved to be a backbone for such militants to spread terror and threats all over the country. However, initiatives have been taken by Pakistan Army to prevent all sorts of hurdles from coming in the way of this project.
The major concern is two provinces of Afghanistan, namely Kunar and Nuristan, where there is absolute control of Al-Qaeda and TTP is a big threat to the northern region of Pakistan. This could only be solved with good developing ties between Islamabad, the capital and Kabul for better security situation at borders.
B- External Challenges
These consist of the challenges faced by external powers as under:
- Indo-US Influence
Since 9/11, there has been increased cooperation between India and Iran in several fields, especially naval exercises in the Indian Ocean. However, the issue will likely fall in the self-interest of India as it is aware that China will have another alternative for economic expansion in the form of the Pakistan-China economic corridor. Besides that, the Indo-US cordiality and cooperation in the aftermath of Indo-US nuclear cooperation on the one hand and growing Indo-Iranian cooperation in Afghanistan and Central Asian states on the other will be the cause of concern for Pakistan and China. The US may also actively join the Indo-Iranian cooperation since having common concerns regarding the ambitions of China. Pakistan alone cannot counter this challenge. China, together with Pakistan, should check the growing influence of these countries in the Indian and Arabian Oceans.
- International Proxy wars
The possibilities of conceivable broadening remain of America in Afghanistan and the Russian impact in the focal Asian republics is another essential component that may ruin this hallway advancement. The intermediary wars being played in areas by provincial nations, for example, India, Afghanistan, Iran and UAE, and in addition, the world forces can be a real obstacle to the full advancement of this hallway. A view will be brought into the new extraordinary diversion, assuming any, being played and should be investigated for an examination with respect to how vital or generally this component progress toward becoming a risk for the future accomplishment of this passage. Also, Pakistan’s relations with India have never been heartfelt amid their everything long periods of presence. The two nations have battled about two wars of differing degrees. The last real undeniable clash of 1971 included assaults on delivery lines in Karachi also. Prior, the potential exchange course through keti bandar, albeit alluring, ended up ugly from a key profundity point of view because of its nearness to India. Pakistan being a nation that is exceedingly reliant on oil imports, the vital profundity factor couldn’t be overlooked that effortlessly.
- Hostile Afghanistan
Afghanistan is the centre of the world’s war against terrorism. It is an ethnically diverse country composed of the Sunni Pathans in the south, Shiite Hazaras in the west and Sunni ethnic Tajiks in the north. The Afghan government is hostile towards Pakistan, and Pakistan’s intelligence agencies have repeatedly accused the Afghan government of fermenting trouble in Baluchistan. Afghanistan is an essential impediment in this context to be countered for the realization of this future plan.
Prospects and Advantages
- Economic growth
CPEC will definitely help Pakistan’s economy to boost and to progress. Pakistan’s economy has remained at the mercy of the regional security environment and international players’ vested interests. The Pakistan-China economic corridor is a well-considered and right step taken by the government of Pakistan. The impact of the corridor can contribute immensely to the improvement of the economic conditions of Pakistan. These contributions to Pakistan’s economy can be categorized as direct and indirect benefits. The direct impact could be the effect on the development of the regional economy generated by self-development by the corridor. The indirect can be defined as the effect caused on the regional economy by other activities carried out with the help of this project. Another main contribution is the plan to construct an oil refinery at Gwadar and the installation of pipelines up to the province of China. This shortcut and distribution line will bring an immense trade benefit to both Pakistan and China. Moreover, it will also enhance private investment due to positive economic opportunities, energy generation and a stable economy. Private investments will contribute 0.5% to the GDP of the country.
“CPEC’s Long-Term Plan would speed up Pakistan’s industrialization and urbanization.”
- Employment Opportunities
Another major prospect would be an increased rate of employment opportunities for Pakistani people. The economy of Pakistan will boost; more platforms will be established for the employment of young citizens. Moreover, the opportunity will not be availed by Pakistanis only, but it will attract foreign investors and experts too.
- Regional Connectivity
Regional connectivity is the outcome of shared development between China and Pakistan. Building new transport facilities and routes, developing infrastructure, increasing energy resources, and the Gwadar port project are the prominent components of this project. One of the great significances of this project is the regional connectivity in order to reduce the trade of long miles. CPEC is a way to connect different regions with one another, especially western, central and southern, for speedy and efficient trade. Gwadar-Xingjian route can serve as an alternative to the Malacca Straits for the transportation of energy, which will be time and cost-effective and will enable China to increase its energy security by reducing reliance on the Malacca route. Further to this, once CPEC is operational, China will find new markets for its products in Central Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It will further benefit China by improving the foreign exchange reserve structure, creating investment opportunities for Chinese firms and building new links between Inner land China and the Indian Ocean.
- Promotion of Tourism
Tourism is yet another major factor that contributes to the uplift of the economy of a country. CPEC, without any doubt, will increase the tourism rate in Pakistan. This would improve the services of public information, provide convenience in transportation, security protection and other services benefiting the public. Back in 2017, the tourism sector of Pakistan proved to be on the upper level by providing jobs, reducing poverty and fostering development among millions of people. The tourism industry has contributed $7.6 trillion to the global economy, which is 10.2% of the global GDP and generated 292 million jobs in 2016. Hence, CPEC will turn out to be an attractive spot for tourism. Also, a means to boasting up the economy.
- Upcoming Fishing Harbor
A planned fishing harbour/industry linked with this port will facilitate efficient exploitation of 960 KM of long coast, which would give a boost to fish and crab exports and would promote food processing industries as well. CPEC will benefit the fishing industries in Pakistan, which will turn out helpful for increasing livestock. This increment in the fishing rate will aid in exports and imports. As a result, it will also maintain good relations with exporting countries.
The strong and long-term relationship since the 1950s of the two countries have stood exemplary based on mutual trust, shared borders, and sharing borders, resulting in huge benefits for both Pakistan and China. The Pak-China economic corridor can boost trade relations which can ultimately trigger effective economic growth and stability. Despite the immense importance of this corridor and the huge need for the country, the challenges must be dealt with with caution and maturity since it is millions of dollar project for Pakistan. Failure to keep up the project may result in negative consequences and may create contention in well-founded relations. Hence, all institutions within Pakistan, along with provinces, should unite to avail this opportunity at its best.
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