Pakistan allays China’s concern over CPEC security plan

Published: September 28, 2016
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“China might use the military establishment to protect its trade via sea,” said Dr Talat Wizarat, an expert on international relations. China, otherwise, does not want military activities outside its country, she added.PHOTO: AFP

“China might use the military establishment to protect its trade via sea,” said Dr Talat Wizarat, an expert on international relations. China, otherwise, does not want military activities outside its country, she added.PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The 6th meeting of the China-Pakistan joint cooperation committee on the CPEC would be held by the end of November after Islamabad assured Beijing of addressing issues responsible for delaying the deployment of the Special Security Division and slow progress on energy-related projects.

This was decided during a meeting between Minister of Planning, Development & Reforms Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Vice-Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Wang Xiaotao held in Beijing, according to a handout issued by the Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms on Tuesday.

Concern over delay in raising force for CPEC

The JCC was set up to facilitate the formation of working groups of experts. The body is co-chaired by Iqbal and Xiaotao who overlook joint working groups for planning, energy, transport infrastructure and Gwadar. On average, the JCC meets twice a year. However, lack of consensus over lingering issues caused the delay this time, sources in the Planning Ministry said.

In a related development, China’s Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli is also expected to visit Pakistan by the end of the year. He is the focal person of China on the CPEC. The vice premier is expected to perform ground-breaking ceremonies of Gwadar projects, the sources said.

One of the main Chinese concerns was the delay in the deployment of the Special Security Division for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Plans for operationalising the division have been held up by civil-military wrangling. It is feared that the issue, if not resolved at the earliest, could potentially affect the CPEC timelines, the sources said. The other issue was lack of progress on the energy-related projects.

Power consumers to pay for CPEC security

Before leaving for China, Iqbal told The Express Tribune that delays in convening the working group meetings was due to non-availability of the officials concerned. On the transport front, Pakistan wants work on the Eastbay Expressway and Gwadar International Airport to be started at the earliest. It also sought implementation of Gwadar CPEC projects.

Iqbal “stressed fast implementation of the Gwadar CPEC projects” during his meeting with the Chinese vice chairman, the ministry handout said. The two countries also discussed financing for ML-1 railways up-gradation project connecting Peshawar to Karachi, which is an important part of the CPEC’s development. ML1 is a key priority project on the working agenda and the NDRC takes a holistic view of the project.

Afghanistan stands to gain from CPEC option

Meanwhile, speakers at a conference said that China might use the naval base located near the Gwadar seaport to protect its sea trade, as the Pakistani establishment has guaranteed the safe passage of goods on land.

“China might use the military establishment to protect its trade via sea,” said Dr Talat Wizarat, an expert on international relations. China, otherwise, does not want military activities outside its country, she added.

She was speaking at the two-day conference on “The State of Pakistan’s Economy: Issues and Challenges in the 21st Century” organised by the Institute of Business Management (IoBM).

With additional input from Salman Siddiqui in Karachi

Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • NKAli
    Sep 28, 2016 - 9:34AM

    This is becoming a source of concern for the lackadaisical attitude of the politicians of PMLN and PPP et al. It seems the entire Parliament in toto is on vacation.
    If the government is serious of implementing the CPEC without hindrances and bias then why is the JCC meeting twice a year? Mind boggling!
    Ex-President Musharraf did not not sleep on projects of profound national importance. SalamsRecommend

  • Zubair
    Sep 28, 2016 - 10:04AM

    And Musharraf was never biased neither was Zardari toward a particular province. Differences apart, they favored equal distribution of resources for all provinces unlike PMLN who know only one province and whole of Pakistan knows which one.Recommend

  • Babar Ali
    Sep 28, 2016 - 11:01AM

    I donot care what the Indians say in this regard but my question to fellow Pakistanis is that our small and medium cottage induustries from Gujranwala to Karachi producing hand made shoes , slippers , artificial jewellery and many more have been completely wiped out due to cheap Chinese imports rendering millions out of work .

    Have we ever thought where will be our industries once China get into Pakistan ?.

    Please please please think.Recommend

  • romm
    Sep 28, 2016 - 12:06PM

    @Babar Ali:
    Nothing to Do with CPEC. I do not think its appropriate to relate the failure of cottage industry with CPEC. Will generate economic activity which would bring entrepreneurship due to public exposure. Recommend

  • Milind
    Sep 28, 2016 - 1:02PM

    @Babar Ali – As an Indian, I would rather buy a genuine pair of shoes, artificial jewellery – all handmade from a Pakistani, than cheap Chinese imitations. However your establishment has always remain myopic and unable to develop statesmanship, which leads to current situation. Had free trade been allowed by your country, I’m sure, the local industries wouldn’t have wiped out by Indian industry, but thrived.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 28, 2016 - 2:11PM

    @Babar Ali:
    The reason for that also is China export to Pakistan in many thing but dont import from Pakistan whatever you guys make.But still people here are blaming India and praising Pakistan but the fact is China wiped out Pakistan while India progressed Pakistan like its Bollywood industry saved many theaters from closing and help Pakistani film makers to improve some of their quality.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 28, 2016 - 2:11PM

    @Babar Ali:
    The reason for that also is China export to Pakistan in many thing but dont import from Pakistan whatever you guys make.But still people here are blaming India and praising China but the fact is China wiped out Pakistan while India progressed Pakistan like its Bollywood industry saved many theaters from closing and help Pakistani film makers to improve some of their quality.Recommend

  • rich
    Sep 28, 2016 - 2:29PM

    babar ali

    Pakistanis have no idea how much Pakistani leather products, embroidered clothes, jewelly ect are in demand in india,

    if there was a trade agreement with india, small scale cottage inds in Pakistan would make billions, bec these things are worn only in india and Pakistan, Chinese and the west do not wear there desi designs

    but I guess its too late now

    reg cpec Pakistan has made it a prestige issue, in business its just profit and loss,Recommend

  • rich
    Sep 28, 2016 - 2:29PM

    babar ali

    Pakistanis have no idea how much Pakistani leather products, embroidered clothes, jewelly ect are in demand in india,

    if there was a trade agreement with india, small scale cottage inds in Pakistan would make billions, bec these things are worn only in india and Pakistan, Chinese and the west do not wear there desi designs

    but I guess its too late now

    reg cpec Pakistan has made it a prestige issue, in business its just profit and loss,Recommend

  • Pnpuri
    Sep 28, 2016 - 6:07PM

    CPEC will limp unless india comes on board. Ignore india objections with regard to its passing through disputed territories. china export to india in2015 was $60 billions. Even if china uses cpec route for 1/3rdof its trade with india, it will be about 30 -40% of total utilisation of cpec routes in Pakistan. China needs assurance that Pakistan will protect indo china goods transit through pakistanRecommend

  • Rex Minor
    Sep 28, 2016 - 7:50PM

    @Babar Ali:
    Have we ever thought where will be our industries once China get into Pakistan ?.conomic

    The Chinese dominance in the world markets is driven by their State controlled economic strategy in establishing xchange rates and outstanding productive work force. Pakistan could follow suit if its Government was to encourage foreign investments in its cottage industry and promote the export of its hand made products. We regard China as the great consumer market as well..

    Rex Minor . Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Sep 28, 2016 - 7:57PM

    China might use the military establishment to protect its trade via sea,” said Dr Talat Wizarat, an expert on international relations. China, otherwise, does not want military activities outside its country, she added.

    Not true; Chinese divisions are currently being trained to provide security for chinese investments outside their country.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • syed & syed
    Sep 29, 2016 - 2:23AM

    Pakistani products become expensive because of the failure of the government by inducing taxes and corruption from top to bottom. If similar facilities as in china are given to Pakistani cottage and industrial units exports will be a lucrative business. Again Mr Ahsan Iqbal did not say a word about western route because he is serving a man (NS) who have his interest abroad.Recommend

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