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Impact of CPEC on Pakistan Foreign and Domestic Policies

Posted on May 03, 2018 at 02:00 PM

Last time Xi, Jinping the president of China visit to Pakistan and marked the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and a session of Belt and Road Forum was held in Beijing on 14-15 May 2017 and it was the ideal time to implement CPEC and observe Pakistan's domestic and foreign policies for the country geopolitical posture. China initiated the project with total investment of $65 billion and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) represents the friendship project of China's Maritime Silk roue Initiative, which is aimed for the construction of ports, infrastructure, road, railway connectivity in Pakistan, SriLanka and Bangladesh.

So, what is the impact of CPEC on policies?

According to the recent report published by International Monetary Fund (IMF), China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going to boost the investment in Pakistan's economy and there is a general change in Pakistan about positive impression that CPEC would bring to the country. A key aspect of understanding China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) pertains to changing nature of Sino-Pakistan ties. Before launching the CPEC, Sino-Pakistani relations are going to change the qualitative shift in the history of Pakistan and China which is defined as

  • "China friendship is higher than mountains, deeper than the ocean, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey".

As well, China Pakistan Economic Corridor has involved the new countries to get involved in the bilateral ties other than the Pakistani Army and People's Liberation Army. During the recent Belt Road Initiative conference held in Beijing, President Xi Jinping announced said that Pakistan and China should increase the interaction between legislative bodies, government and political parties of both countries. According to 2013 political startup, the elected government of PMLN increased the operations on CPEC projects. The main relationship centred between Pakistan and China is based on the military as the main interlocutors on both side Pakistan and China. It has enabled the "de facto" civilian side to get some leverage and space in important decisions of both countries. Although the military of Pakistan remains a key player in Sino-Pakistani ties as most of the CPEC projects are being reliance on the Pakistan Army to provide security to CPEC projects.

As well the elected government of Pakistan rejected the proposal to institutionalise the Army role in CPEC projects and increase the role of bureaucracy and elected government. Due to geopolitical implications of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a survey was held and a scenario was presented which shows the tensions and a potential of cooperation is fully defined and tapped. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has added the stress and tense in relations with India and USA. India raised the issues in Delhi meeting which has mentioned the CPEC's route through Gilgit Baltistan which is the main reason of India not to participate in CPEC and the Belt Road Initiative more broadly.

Another concern that India raised the port of Gwadar in which the starting point of CPEC would post Chinese post in the Arabian sea. It was quoted that China is willing to deploy its naval ships to protect the port of Gwadar. Due to these concerns in the wake of Pakistani reports media that an Indian submarine was detected and prevented from entering into Pakistani waters. Iran is another player in this region. The relationships between Pakistan and Iran are a story of a great and potential. Iran has expressed the interest to become the part of CPEC projects and Pakistan and China welcomed the opportunity for Tehran to play its role in the development of the economic corridor.

Due to CPEC empowerment, the geopolitical posture of Pakistan is changed and got the attraction of Russia to invest in CPEC projects which caused the development of Pakistan-Russia relations. It is not easy for Russia to get involved in this project due to the strong relationships with India as well Bangladesh in terms of Arms supplies from Russia. Since the announcement of BRI, Russia and Pakistan signed a defence agreement in November 2014, the first-ever joint military exercise in 2016 and the high-level military delegation visited both South Waziristan and North Waziristan. In Waziristan, Pakistan Army conducted Zarb-E-Azab operation successfully. The Early harvest programs (EHP) are under construction in Pakistan and will be completed in this year. The first priority of this government is to end the electricity shortage through power projects.

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