CPEC upgradation

CPEC upgradation

May 17, 2024


Pakistan and China did some course correction on CPEC, and resolved to take it to new heights. The unflinching understanding to make the project of connectivity and development a success was at the centre of parleys between the foreign ministers of the two countries. Keeping in view the upheavals that they have faced at the hands of non-state actors, and a regressive mode that had incidentally set in, both the neighbours agreed to undo the irritants and ensure that the format of cordiality and collaboration lives on. The $60 billion mega investment is Pakistan’s lifeline and at the same time an indispensable obsession for the emerging world power’s outreach to five continents. Making it a success story is sine qua non for economic progression of more than 100 countries.

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi’s nod to roll out an ‘upgraded version’ of CPEC hinted at its second and most important phase of cooperation. Having set in a vibrant logistical infrastructure and energy projects, the roadmap is to industrialise the zone. Thus, creating the nine proposed SEZs and furthering interaction in areas like industry, agriculture, mining, new energy and IT was vehemently underscored. The impetus was evident as they co-chaired the fifth round of China-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, and sent down a message that attempts to derail the all-weather friendship will be countered with full might.

As both the countries had recently orbited their satellites to Moon, and inked new deals on ML-1 railway project and buoying the Gwadar Port, there is much to focus on for a better tomorrow. That is why it was decided to further beef up the security shield, in order to realise geo-economics. An honest appraisal to address the worries of Chinese enterprises and personnel engaged in Pakistan hinted at the sincerity of their ties. Likewise, ensuring peace in the region and sagaciously dealing with a plethora of extra-territorial military alliances remain the cornerstones of their long-term understanding.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2024.

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