Restarting CPEC

The five corridor phase II of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is due to kick start soon. Before it does, the resolve coming out of the 5th China-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue is very promising, especially after the unfortunate attacks on Chinese workforce in Pakistan. To put it in perspective, the relationship seems strengthened after the calamity of the past months. While Pakistan is eager to pace up the phase II and simultaneously other projects under Chinese investments, China is stressing the safety of its interests and people inside Pakistan. But doing so, China is not changing its stance over years of strategic and economic partnership with Pakistan.

This is indeed a unique and valuable relationship. For Pakistan, perhaps the most important of its allies and friends. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is focused and dedicated to speed up and wrap up the remaining work under the CPEC. An emphasis on shifting a major portion of imports via the Gwadar Port is an indication. Corridors of job creation, innovation, green energy and inclusive regional development are carriers of the shared goals and interest of China and Pakistan.

Solutions that help Pakistan adapt with climate change are a need of the hour and green energy projects are one guarantee to that necessity. Likewise regional intricacies call for development that includes regional countries – Afghanistan too. More innovation will lead to more jobs and all these corridors will stand to compliment each other on completion.

Security challenge has persisted but the good part is that CPEC did not come to a halt. Recent attacks alerted everyone for the possible impact on projects but both China’s trust and Pakistan’s assurance helped made way towards starting the second phase of the mega project. Regular communication channels and visits are one reason why both countries have sailed through the toughest circumstances. Supporting each other on their core vital interests is another. China continues to back Pakistan’s word on Indian held Kashmir and Pakistan supports China on Taiwan. All in all, from a historic friendship to CPEC, China and Pakistan remain all weather friends.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt