CPEC, safe gate way of prosperity

125 countries sign BRI in way to common prosperity inevitable My Country
125 countries sign BRI in way to common prosperity inevitable My Country

Special Report

Pakistan and India have gone through a very critical and sensitive phase of their history. Both nations have faced different clashes with each other in the last 70 years since 1970. Pakistan has always showed restraints on any of the attack initiated by India however Islamabad always responded with full force against any aggression. The recent clash also attracted various threats but Pakistan managed to tackle. This recent aggression by India against Pakistan following Pulwama attack also generated threats for the game changing project China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

We have analyzed that this recent so called strike by India on Balakot was just to create panic for Pakistan and to destabilize the smooth functioning of CPEC. Pakistan retaliated and threat was defused with more wisdom and bravery.  We have interviewed some prominent and renowned experts on the issue to dig out the intentions of Indian aggression against Pakistan regarding CPEC and Chinese citizens.

Ahmad Saffee, Research Fellow at Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad

The recent escalation on India Pakistan border relations will surely have critical impact on the region and international politics. China being the iron brother of Pakistan should be well informed and Cognizant of nefarious Indian plans. It is no secret that India plans to isolate Pakistan internationally and destroy its domestic peace by sponsoring terrorism and Anti Pakistan elements.

The nature of Indian threat to Pakistan and China Pakistan economic corridor is multifaceted and across spectrum of diplomatic economic, cultural, political and strategic lines. India and Pakistan are engaged in a hybrid war where India is active on conventional and nonconventional theatre.

The statement of Indian capture Raw agent legitimizes Pakistan’s claim that India is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan to sabotage Chinese investment. India is thinking along strategic lines to use the dispute on territorial claims of Jammu and Kashmir against the Chinese and there private companies investing in Pakistan. This argument also holds true in this situation in the Jammu and Kashmir conflict where China’s non interference policy is indirectly benefiting India’s nefarious plans. the Indo us Nexus is playing good cop bad cop policy in the region and the conflict of Jammu and Kashmir is a litmus test India linking the territorial dispute of Jammu and Kashmir with its opposition to China Pakistan economic corridor.

Whose its intention of using this line of argument to internationally embarrass China and make belt and Road initiative controversial as some of the connectivity initiatives pass through the disputed region.

Moreover, Indian involvement in sponsoring terrorism in Balochistan is well known. Balochistan is a pivotal region in terms of strategic connectivity being given to China in the shape of Gwadar port. Pakistan has been successful in countering terrorism, still with increased Indian desire of destabilising Pakistan, Chinese companies and their workers will have to face the risk of Indian sponsored terrorism. Pakistan is doing all within its means to provide security blanket to Chinese workers and companies operating on it’s soil, yet the risk especially after recent escalation stands on high alert.

India plans to target Chinese companies and investors aims to Choke foreign direct investment coming into Pakistan. They want to squeeze Pakistan under economic pressure and this pressure will rise given the amount of money Pakistan will have to spend in order to fight Indian sponsored terrorism, while maintaining strategic deterrence especially when India is extensively buying new advanced military equipment.

India has threatened Pakistan of stopping it’s waters that pass through it’s land. Such a threat is detrimental to regional peace and leaves little options for Pakistan whose ecological system depends on Indus water. India has also sponsoring terrorism in Afghanistan and blames it on Pakistan. It is providing all resources to lure Afghans against Pakistan, who has faced the brunt of Afghan war and still is doing all within its control for bringing peace to Afghanistan.

Given the recent situation, it becomes an imperative for Pakistan and China to counter Indian plans and evil designs especially given the Chinese want to make BRI and their vision of connectivity a reality. The Indo-US nexus will leave no stone unturned across the spectrum of possible threats and to counter China’s rise. The recent efforts of international powers to put Pakistan on the black list of Financial Action Task force should be resisted by friends of Pakistan and it’s brother China. China and other friends of Pakistan should support our bid punish Indian captured Raw agent involved in terrorism on Pakistani soil.

China needs to understand the nature of Indian threat and should align it’s policy with Pakistan’s apprehensions which are grounded in evidence. Its not only that Chinese workers are under some terrorist threat but it’s a grey war that India has waged against Chinese interest and Pakistan that believes in this Chinese vision. It is important also to understand that it is not India alone but other western countries who feel threatened by Chinese vision and their ability to make this dream a reality. In order to counter it, both Pakistan and China should collaborated and cooperate as one.

Amna Rafi Khan Research Scholar at IPRI working on China, CPEC and the Asia-Pacific

The threat from non-state actors remains potent. The recent Indian aggressive posture has raised concern over extremist tendencies in the region. In view of the ongoing development work on CPEC, which despite being a bilateral initiative is a regional project. The Chinese working on CPEC (and non-CPEC projects) in Pakistan should be briefed about the prevailing security threat, and the associated political interests of regional and foreign players. The border tensions between Pakistan and India are perpetrated by India, primarily to divert the attention away from the development projects.

CPEC has always been a point of concern for India. The corridor has set the trend towards regional connectivity and if pursued together, the CPEC will benefit the entire South Asia. However, Indian opposition to CPEC is two front, firstly India will never like to see a prosperous Pakistan. Secondly, China’s role in South Asia will be enhanced which will weaken India regionally. India, by employing coercive moves as well as covert acts is trying to sabotage the project. India by fueling unrest across the border and by intensifying brutal acts of suppression in Jammu & Kashmir is trying to create a security dilemma for Pakistan.

The Chinese should avoid free movement in the country and do not interact with non-relevant people. The Chinese working in Pakistan, should inform well in advance of their movement. The Pakistan Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) should guard the Chinese workers.

In view of the geostrategic benefits of CPEC, India will go to any extent to disrupt the project. India has employed covert means to target the development sites. India has negatively projected Pakistan’s fight against terrorism. With the upcoming CPEC, Pakistan’s image has been transformed into a trading hub. It has also allayed the perception that Pakistan is not conducive for foreign investment. The development of SEZs, and opening up of country’s provinces to outside investors has failed the enemy designs to isolate Pakistan regionally.

India is the only regional player which has raised voice against the CPEC. The likely attacks on the development projects in the backdrop of Indian aggressive pursuits cannot be ruled out altogether. The geostrategic dimension linked to CPEC is the emerging role of China in South Asia. The CPEC is a reflection of emerging geopolitical realities. Pakistan’s inclusion in CPEC is due to the country’s geostrategic location. While, for China, the corridor is an alternate trading route.

The CPEC projects need to be guarded by military. The Chinese citizens working on the projects should be provided foolproof security.

A travel advisory needs to be issued to Chinese citizens in Pakistan. Surveillance measures also need to be employed.

Fawad Sidiqui , Senior Defense Analyst

Indian intelligence agency RAW and Afghan intelligence agency KHAD nexus will definitely poses a threat to sabotage CPEC and recent events between Pakistan and India will have an impact on security of Chinese citizens.

In my opinion security institutions have already been briefed by to security heads for enhancement of security about Chinese citizens and Chinese projects

Movement of Chinese citizens should be curtailed and should be according to the plan provided by concern LEA with update to control room of area police.

Dr Ejaz Hussain, Associate Professor, Shanghai International Studies University, China

Pakistan has been, since the inception of CPEC in 2015, quite conscious about the security of CPEC related human resource, machinery and infrastructure. Special security arrangements are duly made by the federal and the provincial governments. Thus, as of now, not a single incident of sabotage or attack of any sort on CPEC and its paraphernalia has been reported. Nevertheless, Pakistan does face security challenges in general, and given the current tussle with India, security threat to CPEC particularly Chinese workforce along with non-CPEC citizens such as journalists working in Pakistan for many years cannot be overlooked/ underestimated.

We have already documented evidence of Indian involvement in the terrorist activities in especially Balochistan that hosts one of the core components of CPEC, namely, the Gwadar Port. Pakistan got to stay alert, rather extra vigilant, in terms of oversight of the Gawadar Enclave as well as Chinese and Pakistani work force.

Also, Pakistani government should enhance security of the Chinese companies and its executives working in for instance KP and Punjab. Chinese workforce in these areas requires enhanced security.

Given the current conflict with India, Pakistani government ought to communicate its security related concepts to initially the Chinese embassy in Islamabad along with interacting with the higher authorities at the state level. It will be prudent on the part of Pakistani government to apprise the chief executives of different companies of the current state of affairs between India and Pakistan and should urge the Chinese companies to sensitize its workforce regarding the prevailing security situation at the LoC, and, above all, the incidence of terrorism that the country is coping with.

The Chinese companies on their part need to issue clearly stipulated SOPs to its work force that they in any case abide by. For example, the workers ought not to be allowed to leave the work place without due permission and under proper security cover. Similarly, non-CPEC people should be instructed by the Chinese government to take due measures while moving out in the public.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor, safe gate way of prosperity My Country