CPEC is presented as a new game changer for Pakistan. But very few seem to be interested in evaluating what the real game is. A friendship higher than the Himalayas definitely sounds sweeter than honey in oration but in reality, the diplomatic relation between two states which involves strategic interests and most importantly, state money is not something that can float over streams of emotions.
Dire need of the country with regard to CPEC is to improve capacity building and technology transfer while creating new jobs by developing industrial zones which will result in skilled labor and create jobs not only related to civil works but multi-disciplined fields.
As we all know, developed countries have a very organized system of investment. They do not just pour their public money into empty pots of their worthy neighbors or friends. Like seasoned businessmen, they only give where there is a mighty return and it is equally important for a borrower to know what he will return against lending.
As far as our government is concerned, they are completely oblivious of their own responsibilities. They have forsaken their land to be used as a playground for someone else’s interests. Dire need of the country with regard to CPEC is to improve capacity building and technology transfer while creating new jobs by developing industrial zones which will result in skilled labor and create jobs not only related to civil works but multi-disciplined fields. At the moment no one seems to have a clear idea except Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal in which directions the project will move and what will be the final shape of the project. The only answer we get against every raised question on the transparency of project is that CPEC is purely Chinese-funded so no one other than Chinese should have concerns over possible loopholes or embezzlements
It can uplift Pakistan economically in line with pretty developed countries like Singapore and Dubai. It can also reduce poverty which will directly affect literacy rate and eliminate terrorism.
Recent important development is that we can see masses of Chinese labor in suburbs of CPEC projects. Machinery and other equipment are already being imported from China. If we build a scenario that Chinese paid an advance just to expand their over-populated land for their citizens and to make jobs for them, will it make sense? “Yes”, I think. It can justify China’s magnificent investment in Pakistan. Pakistan will definitely get good infrastructure and its major problems will also get a solution at length but any expectation further than that will be like living in a fool’s paradise.
Developing an economic corridor is definitely a brilliant idea. It can uplift Pakistan economically in line with pretty developed countries like Singapore and Dubai. It can also reduce poverty which will directly affect literacy rate and eliminate terrorism. Pakistan offers a nice blend of natural beauty ranging from coastal beaches and vast deserts to world’s largest non-polar glaciers and tallest peaks. By improving the security situation, a multi-billion tourism industry can be erected. So CPEC is not a bad option rather an opportunity. But how we execute it, will shape our future.
CPEC is an opportunity to transform our traditional copy paste industry into a value-added research-driven industry.
Our major priority should be the transfer of technology and capacity-building. Pakistan is a land of over 100 Million adult population making it one of the largest youth populations in the world. Over the last few decades, parents are more conscious for sending their children to schools and Universities. Relatively better and higher education structure enabled youth to get a professional education but what next? Monster of unemployment is deploying sentiments of frustration among youth and they are an easy prey for extremist elements who initially listen to them with concern, soothe their emotions and then drag them into their terror outfits. No wonder that a major proportion of TTP and even ISIS is comprised of highly qualified youth having technical backgrounds and degrees.
The major reason behind unemployment is that Pakistani industries have a very limited scope of research and development and they just tend to import machinery and manuals and start production. When there is no innovation, there is no sense to hire competitive technical personnel that is limiting lucrative job opportunities in technical sectors. CPEC is an opportunity to transform our traditional copy paste industry into a value-added research-driven industry.
Chinese are really good in business and good businessmen offer good deals. CPEC must is a win-win situation for both parties. The government should publicly reveal the roadmap and all details of CPEC agreements and projects. There should be a national debate on how to align CPEC with Pakistani interests. We have to solve our problems ourselves. None out of Pakistan will ever come with solutions to our problems. It is a bitter reality and it is the right time to accept it.