Riaz Ahmed Raisani
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a global game changer, a regional power shift and a fortune smile for Pakistanis. Much is said and heard about CPEC, whatever has been told or propagated is something gigantic. The CPEC is a regional mega project, which will give China easier access to the Middle Eastern oil via the deep-water port of Gwadar. Fairly it has created a chaos internationally and defiantly has forced the global and regional powers for repositioning their strategic and foreign affairs for our region.
Though the CPEC has brought Pakistan into the international limelight, wherein Pakistan is being forecasted as one of the future regional economic might and strategically Pakistan’s regional importance will be increased many folds but it has also unlocked the flood of difficulties and issues for Pakistan. Pakistan already struggling for internal stability, concluding war on terror and working passionately on attaining the milestones of CPEC project, the issue and obstacles created by the friendly enemies are a clear indication of their discomfort.
It’s a dilemma, that Pakistan is facing more challenges internally, as it is believed that most of the issue confronting Pakistan as only due to bungling policies, that is why, it is said that “Pakistan direly needs sensible policy makers,” Pakistan always suffered due to absence of quality policy making, unluckily Pakistan policy making has always been dominated by different inappropriate factors of short term decisions, lack of visionary planning, a specific fragment of establishment or pressure group, a specific pillar of state and even many times by personalities. By this Pakistan has always wasted a huge amount of precious time, energy and resources. On the other hand the power quest in Pakistan has produced only power mongers not patriots, selfish people chased personal, religious or ethnic interest’s rather national interests. Pakistan as state and Pakistanis as nation always paid the price, CPEC is a great opportunity for Pakistan but apart from all its praises and forecasts it has been monopolized into a certain way that rather all provinces should have benefited from CPEC, the project has been planned and being implemented in way that all provinces couldn’t get best out of it.
It is true that without Gawadar port, CPEC is just a dream but within all preparations of this gigantic project there is a lack of ownership from people of Balochistan. The more different segments of the CPEC project are evolving towards completion, the more concerns of the common people are increasing. Up till now the policymakers have concluded force as a toll for implementing and running CPEC project. This has created hatred and increased the gaps between the CPEC project and people of Balochistan. People ownership and support is the only key factor to ensure the success of CPEC but the policymakers in Islamabad think that without this key factor they can make it happen.
The higher expectations of the already deprived people of Balochistan from CPEC project are natural and so is the disappointment. The logical solution was to address the genuine concerns of the people of Balochistan by initiating different projects to bring a positive change into their lives. It is their basic right as the son of the soil and their basic claim can’t be overturned based on whatever logic and justification. Neither can they be bluffed by story tails and faction stories. For good long time the authorities of power corridor refused the unfair treatment with Balochistan but now after 60 years once they admitted but seems not ready to do the good. Other than compensation by giving Balochistan its due share they are still busy at finding reasons for putting them on wait or using delay tactics. Without practical steps and giving relief to the most deprived people of Balochistan, finding peace and expecting prosperity in Balochistan is just like living in fool’s paradise. In continuation of the policies, collision government has been affixed in destiny of Balochistan, where representatives are least interested in solving issues of the common man but are solely busy increasing the work burden of the NAB. Balochistan provincial governments could not deliver any tangible relief to the masses and couldn’t achieve any progress, it was and still it is on the least index of progress and development among all provinces.
In the last five years Balochistan government has been continuously lapsing unspent billions n billions of provincial budget just to ensure transparency in utilizing government funds. All this happened boldly with the province deprived of funds for more then 60 years, with beyond all logics and borders of understanding trying to justify their performance to reduce poverty and combat backwardness by lapsing billions for years. May be the smart policy makers are successful in trying to confuse commoners to decide who are responsible for their present status, the people in capital or the people in provincial cabinet. Unfair side of the story is that up to 60 years they were not willing to pay now they are paying but have made it sure that it should not be spent.
Coming back to CPEC, to get the trust of masses a net of small and medium size projects should have been started to provide basic relief to the poor people. Starting from water crisis in Gawadar, alternative business opportunities for fishermen, reforms and development in education and health sector, supporting projects in livestock and agriculture, road and infrastructure projects for remote areas, capacity building projects for provincial government, projects involving people of Balochistan in CPEC projects, projects supporting trade and industries, projects on employment generation and business development and much more. The overall planning and implementation of CPEC is being done into Planning Commission Islamabad with no presence and even no access to people of Balochistan. The people of Balochistan have been forced to believe that it is a great patriotic approach to develop Balochistan and eradicate poverty and bring prosperity through CPEC.
In this scenario does it not giving an opportunity to the anti-CPEC and anti-Pakistan forces to trespass and play their role very easily. When we will learn something from past when we will be truly sincere with our motherland and our fellow countrymen or is it our destiny that we will keep deceiving ourselves and bullying our brothers, may it be out countrymen or our true friends like China? I think it’s the time when we should stop playing over smart but to play fair and sincere.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
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