CPEC: STAKES AND THREATS [DailyTimes] 10 Dec, 2019

It is undeniably evident that economic deterioration can potentially cost much bigger to Pakistan than usual estimates. Survival as a sovereign state, in a disturbed South Asian region with a daggers drawn neighbour like India, will remain a big challenge for economically crippled Pakistan. It will be unwise to ignore the Indian desperation to get Pakistan blacklisted from the FATF. Such moves, including terrorism in Balochistan, precisely aim at destroying the economy which may subsequently compel Pakistan to kneel down before the global powers striving hard to halt the Chinese economic expansion .Though it is all beyond any doubt but certain West-influenced media circles in Pakistan usually don’t get convinced easily, especially when anything moves at the national canvas against the wishes of US. How any sane mind can ignore the threatening statement of Mike Pompeo in which he loudly instructed IMF to refrain from granting any loan to Pakistan which might be used to clear the Chinese debts by the latter.Undoubtedly, Chinese economic expansion across the globe is a permanent source of trouble for the US. Stretch of CPEC in Pakistan from Northern areas to beaches of Gawadar is neither acceptable to India nor suits the US. Persistent terrorism in Balochistan primarily aims at sabotaging CPEC, as divulged by Kulbhushan Jadhav. RAW-sponsored terrorists are out to hinder CPEC by spoiling the atmosphere through incidents of terrorist attacks on Chinese technicians. These targeted attempts were launched to dislodge law and order apparatus with an ultimate objective of spoiling the imminent economic turnaround linked with CPEC.Unfortunately some quarters on one hand adopted meaningful silence over India-sponsored terrorism in Northern Areas and Balochistan, and on the other hand started a negative campaign against CPEC. Before spreading baseless doubts about CPEC, dubious media quarters should refresh collective memory and recall the venomous statement made by late Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj against CPEC in Indian parliament some five years back. Swaraj had spilled the beans by claiming that India had serious objections on CPEC as it would be passing through those ‘Pakistan-occupied disputed territories which actually belong to India’. This venomous objection was persistently raised by India at many occasions through top-ranked officials. Indian Prime Minister Modi also raised objections over CPEC during his visit to China but received a jaw breaking reply from the Chinese government.While negative Indian mindset has not yet found a proper cure, growing ties with US are adding more fuel to the anti-Pakistan fury. Reportedly, a special desk has been exclusively set up in RAW against CPEC ehich is vigorously operating, with a huge flow of money, under personal supervision of national security advisor Ajeet Doval who reports all matters directly to Prime Minister Modi. Pakistan is confronting such hostile neighbours on eastern and western fronts who are all set to go all-out in quest of coercion. There are serious troubles on internal and external fronts . Pakistan is pitched in a complex war being fought simultaneously on economic, internal, diplomatic and military fronts. Recent eye-opening developments unfolding at the sidelines of ongoing economic crisis deserve a serious head on shoulders. Objections raised directly or indirectly by IMF, US and India against CPEC at various occasions are complexly interlinked. It is not time to sit idle in ‘wait and see mode’. A negative commentary on CPEC with extraordinary deliberation by Allice Wells needs to be viewed in the correct context.Transparency is a must in all governmental projects and CPEC is no exception to this universal rule. But at the same time , a close watch should be maintained on anti-CPEC propaganda being made by the dubious quarters.There can be no second opinion about importance of CPEC for economic survival of Pakistan. It is an undeniable fact of the moment that Pakistan cannot afford any sort of negligence, laxity and sluggishness in matters related to CPEC and all its allied sub-projects.

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