China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a massive bilateral project to improve infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and further regional integration, was officially launched on April 20, 2015.
CPEC was inaugurated at a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping and then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding worth $46 billion.
Providing new chances for the people of Pakistan, particularly those in Balochistan.
Balochistan ranks second in its share of $46 billion in initial investment through CPEC, according to statistics from the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Reform.
However, the project, which is a true game-changer for Pakistan’s economy, was quickly found to be under attack from anti-Pakistan factions within the country as well as other governments, particularly from India.
There is an obvious disparity in growth between Balochistan and other provinces of the country, and there are several causes for this. However, the most important factor is the poor role, performance, and policies of Balochistan’s local public officials.
Despite the fact that they stayed part of every government, the politicians consistently prioritized entrenched interests and worked for self-promotion and benefits rather than for the development and betterment of the province and the welfare of the Baloch people.
Rival states, with the support of anarchists, usually try to use this circumstance against the state rather than exposing the real reasons for Balochistan’s underdevelopment.
The state of Pakistan has always played an important role in looking after the welfare of the citizens equally across the country. As a result of the corrupt leadership, citizens could not receive true benefits and support.
Pakistan needs a leadership that can truly work for the development of its people with honesty, bringing forward policies that may benefit the people and contribute to the state’s overall development.
Since its inception, the project has been subjected to broad misinformation in order to make it controversial and irreversibly derail it as a prosperous and developed Pakistan standing by its feet, always winking in the eyes of our enemies.
According to recent anti-CPEC propaganda, “the project has nothing to do with the development and prosperity of Balochistan, and it benefits primarily Punjab, KPK, and Sindh.”
A detailed examination of the facts and data about CPEC, on the other hand, exposes something utterly different from the opponents’ rhetoric.
The state’s initiative of CPEC is a fantastic endeavor. The goal of the CPEC is to modernize Pakistan’s road, rail, air, and energy transportation systems, as well as to connect Pakistan’s deep-sea ports of Gwadar and Karachi to China’s Xinjiang province and beyond.
The other three pillars of CPEC are energy, infrastructure, and industrial growth, and Gwadar is one of them.
Pakistan, and particularly Balochistan, will profit greatly from the strengthening of all four pillars along the western route that will pass through Balochistan.
The CPEC’s linchpin is Balochistan in general, and Gwadar in particular. The initiative will then help to the overall development of the province and address a variety of Balochistan’s economic and social issues.
CPEC is part of China’s bigger Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which was unveiled in 2013 to promote connectivity, trade, communication, and collaboration among Eurasia’s countries.
Despite anarchist propaganda and militant attacks to halt the mega development projects in Balochistan, 70 percent of the planned work in Balochistan has been completed successfully according to facts and figures available on the official website of the ‘CPEC Authority’s Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives.
Surprisingly, they are now falsely claiming that Balochistan lacks a motorway. According to the CPEC authority, there are six mega road infrastructure projects in Balochistan, including the 305-km Zhob-Quetta (Kuchlak, N-50), 106-km Khuzdar-Basima Road (N-30), 146-km Hoshab-Awaran Road Section (M-8), 235-km DI Khan (Yarik) – Zhob, N-50 Phase-I, 168-km Awaran-Khuz.
The major goal of CPEC is to connect Balochistan to international trade channels in order to strengthen the province’s economy. The development of the Chaman, Qetta, and Karachi Motorways, the Gawadar Eastbay Expressway, a six-lane urban highway and the Qetta DI Khan motorway among others, speaks volumes against them.
The province will be better connected to other parts of the country because to this new road network.
Hostile forces and anti-state anarchists, on the other hand, are attempting to isolate Balochistan and its people from the rest of the country and the rest of the world by periodically attacking development sites. Attacks against railway lines are carried out in order to disrupt communication links.
The state institutions, on the other hand, are determined to counter such attacks by ensuring the safety and security of the workers and engineers involved in all development works/projects under CPEC.
Because of the positive involvement and unrelenting efforts of the country’s security forces, 70 percent of all development projects in Balochistan have been completed.
Because both Pakistan and China are facing violent assaults on Chinese officials and projects, the public disclosure of project specifics and funding is kept to a minimum for security reasons.
According to government data, around 4000 km of roads has recently been built in Balochistan, with plans in place to build another 4000 km in the near future.
The above-mentioned facts and data about development projects in Balochistan, particularly road infrastructure should serve as a wake-up call to all propagandists, particularly anti-state anarchists, who sell their conscience against the state for naught but shame and embarrassment.
*The Author is Media Scholar and Freelance journalist
*The views expressed in this article are by the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the institutions and workers