CPEC, a ray of hope, a game changer, token of strong economy and prosperity, this is all what we know about CPEC. We view the CPEC through the prism of optimism, neglecting the problems attach to it. We are unaware of the myriad challenges in the course of CPEC development. Let us have a fleeting look on the other side of the picture and elaborate the challenges pertinent to CPEC.
There are 51 agreements being signed between the two states. But the astonishing fact is that these agreements are kept secret as nobody knows anything about these agreements. It is hard to understand when one thing is meant and pertinent to the public, simultaneously is kept out of public reach like prescription on the medicines, keep it out of children reach. This secrecy of the agreements is not making any sense, for agreements are made regarding public fate and future and public is not consulted, nay not even permitted to have an eye bird’s eye view of these documents. Quite queer, confused, and perplexed is the actions of the government.
It is incumbent upon the government to take masses in confidence. Let the public know what is written in these agreements, cost of project, Chinese demands, everything is veiled and still masses are calm, tranquil, and indifferent and slumber. It is also obligatory on the masses to raise concerns and questions and demand, nay compel those at the helm of affairs to disclose these secret agreements.
In return of 46 billion dollars, Pakistan is supposed to pay 90 billion dollars to China over the span of 30 years. It is 3 billion dollar per year. Think for a moment, if this project fails and does not work. What will be the fate of Pakistan? How we will pay 90 billion dollars to China? History’s purpose is to guide the future actions of Homo sapiens in a better way. But we Pakistanis do not have enough time to have a glimpse of the investment in Srilanka and Tajikistan, which led the two countries to give up and hand over there territory to the investor country for investment failed and they were unable to pay the debt.
When questions are asked whether Balochistan will get advantages of the project? The answer is, definitely yes, for the whole project revolves around Gwadar. Nevertheless, if we look into the history, it tells us something bitter, hard and harsh. History evinces us the fate of Sui gas, Sindak and Rikodiq projects. Same rumors were propagated that Balochistan will get the lion’s share but the masses are still waiting and desiring for those rumors to be converted in reality. So they are cynical about the current mantra of CPEC being game changer for the people of Balochistan too.
The hard challenge for CPEC is its accountability and check and balance. How this huge project of 46 billion dollar will be made purge of corruption. How the accountability of whole project will be made possible? How the government will guarantee the purification of whole process? It is estimated that there will be travel of 50,000 trucks per day. The question is how arrangements will be made to manage so gigantic convoy of long vehicles? The most important is how check and balance of these vehicles will be maintained? Who will check what is inside these trucks?
Last but not the least challenge is the accommodation of Chinese and their culture and unintended impact of the project. Owing to the change nature of our society as compare to that of Chinese it will be very hard to assimilate Chinese in our society. Much resistance will be from the religious class for Chinese are secular people who consider money as everything, eat different foods which are prohibited in Islam. The most dangerous is the Blasphemy law, which claimed lives of many Muslims and non-Muslims alike. How the religious fanatics and zealots will be reined. This demands the government to take steps make grounds for Chinese in this violent and extremist society and take religious parties on the same page too.
If on one hand CPEC brings myriad of opportunities of prosperity. On the other hand it brings plethora of challenges and problem to be countered. Time is better spectator, let’s wait what happen .
Rafiullah hails from District Lorali, Balochistan. Currently he is doing BS Political science from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabads.
Published in The Balochistan Point on March 26, 2017
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the writer and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.