Posted on November 24, 2018 at 01:00 PM
Pakistan declared China Pakistan Economic Corridor as a "game changer" for the emerging economy of Pakistan. But many plans of CPEC have affected the locals along its route. The new government of PTI has repressed critics and raised issues to discuss it again.
CPEC can revive the economy of Pakistan but if it is not discussed through debate in parliament and provincial assemblies as well as locals representatives then it will create many issues and sources of conflict.
The new government of PTI should encourage debate about CPEC and Gwadar with locals, civil society, business leaders and make sure the benefits of CPEC. The government should focus on hiring local labour force.
Pakistan's economy needs reforms to better serve its people by increasing its exports and focusing on decreasing the rate of debts.
The government of Pakistan can mitigate these risks by consulting it with provinces and stakeholders and all interests to Pakistan.
Chinese companies working in Pakistan should hire local labour of Pakistan. China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a multi-billion project which comprises investments, grants and loans. This project starts from Gwadar port located in Balochistan province, climbs along Karakoram Highway and ends into the Kashgar, China.
Protecting local interests:
Some business persons and high officials raised their concerns about the failure to protect local economic interests and unaffordable national debt.CPEC increased the tensions between smaller and federal units of Pakistan on unequal resources division.
Balochistan and Sindh claimed that infrastructure development and industrial projects will benefit Punjab.
In Balochistan, CPEC and Gwadar port is neglecting its local population. Balochistan will not receive direct financial benefits from Gwadar port and developing the commercial fishing industry and through this project, locals will not be facilitated.
In Tharparkar Sindh coal-based power projects are damaging the environment which is causing serious issues and replacing locals from their homes.
From the starting point of Gwadar to its finishing point Gilgit Baltistan, the state is responsible to secure CPEC route marked by many checkpoints, harassment of local residents or any anti- CPEC protest.
Pakistan Army seeks a deeper economic relationship and assured CPEC route supervision under the Army. Beijing is concerned about the threats by Afghanistan and India to its national and regional security issues.
Islamabad should ensure that CPEC’s directions and priorities address the country’s economic and political interests, including by taking the following steps:
Build political consensus on the project’s direction, including by fostering debates in the national and provincial legislatures, to ensure that there are equitable gains for all provinces; and stop arrests, harassment and other coercion of critics.
Consult economists, chambers of commerce, the Pakistan Business Council, trade associations and other business community stakeholders, and incorporate measures to address their concerns in a new framework for CPEC special economic zones and development projects.
Hire local labour and ensure that CPEC projects apply labour protections and practices.
Consult extensively with local communities about the potential costs and benefits of major development projects and devise an appropriate compensation and resettlement plan for all those displaced, including not just formal landowners but also those with the informal land ownership common across Pakistan. If needed, parliament should consider relevant reforms to the 1894 Land Acquisition Act.