Safe­guard­ing CPEC

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS - Sul­tan M Hali

China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor (CPEC). In­dian Prime Min­is­ter Narendra Modi went to the ex­tent of for­mally com­plain­ing to the Chi­nese Pres­i­dent re­gard­ing CPEC. The In­dian con­tention was that since the CPEC passes through Azad Jammu Kash­mir, which is dis­puted ter­ri­tory, hence it is con­tro­ver­sial and must be stopped. Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping made it clear that CPEC is a com­mer­cial ven­ture and not a strate­gic one hence it will con­tinue.

Mean­while, in or­der to sab­o­tage the CPEC, In­dia launched ter­ror­ist ac­tiv­i­ties in Balochis­tan to ha­rass the Chi­nese en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians work­ing there and to scare the Chi­nese in­vestors away. The ar­rest of a serv­ing In­dian Naval of­fi­cer, Com­man­der Kulb­hoshan Ya­dav, also a se­nior op­er­a­tive of In­dia’s se­cret ser­vice Re­search and Analysis Wing (RAW), spilled the beans on In­dian machi­na­tions. Com­man­der Ya­dav, who has been singing like a ca­nary, has ad­mit­ted to his role in RAW agents re­cruit­ing Baloch dis­si­dents, train­ing, arm­ing and equip­ping them to sab­o­tage the CPEC.

Ever since the ar­rest of Com­man­der Ya­dav, RAW’s heinous machi­na­tions against CPEC, have taken a jolt, have diverted their fo­cus to Karachi, where hun­dreds of Chi­nese en­gi­neers and tech­ni­cians are busy work­ing at Port Bin Qasim and the K-3 nu­clear re­ac­tor.In­dia has also en­listed the sup­port of Iran and Afghanistan to off­set the im­pact of CPEC. Dur­ing his re­cent visit to Iran, Modi launched work at a new eco­nomic cor­ri­dor, link­ing the Ira­nian Port of Chah Ba­har with Afghanistan and Cen­tral Asian States.

The Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, in his benevolence, in­stead of crit­i­ciz­ing Email: sm_hali@ya­ the Chah Ba­har project, wel­comed it. He opined that the ad­di­tion of the Chah Ba­har link will en­hance the con­nec­tiv­ity in the re­gion. Com­man­der Ya­dav had set up the re­gional head­quar­ters of RAW at Chah Ba­har and was con­stantly shut­tling be­tween Iran, Pak­istan and Afghanistan, lay­ing traps for Pak­istan. It may be men­tioned that there are four In­dian Con­sulates and ten trade mis­sions in Afghanistan. All of them are swarm­ing with RAW op­er­a­tives, en­gaged in odi­ous plots to desta­bi­lize Pak­istan. It is pos­si­ble that RAW op­er­a­tives in Iran tipped off CIA re­gard­ing the move­ments of Tal­iban leader Mul­lah Akhtar Man­sour from Iran to Pak­istan. The Tal­iban chief was suc­cess­fully tar­geted and elim­i­nated inside Pak­istan. Killing of the in­no­cent driver Azam (Taxi driver of Mul­lah Akhtar Man­sour) in US drone at­tack is a stark vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights and in con­tra­ven­tion to in­ter­na­tional law/ in­ter­na­tional norms. No won­der that his fam­ily has filed a law suit against un­named CIA op­er­a­tives for the wan­ton killing.

It is im­per­a­tive that the govern­ment of Pak­istan takes con­crete steps to pro­tect the Chi­nese cit­i­zens work­ing inside Pak­istan. Last year, when the Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping vis­ited Is­lam­abad, he was as­sured of fool proof mea­sures to en­sure the se­cu­rity and safety of Chi­nese work­ers in Pak­istan. The Army has de­ployed a Di­vi­sion level force un­der the com­mand of a Ma­jor Gen­eral, to se­cure the CPEC and the Chi­nese in Pak­istan.

Chi­nese Am­bas­sador in Pak­istan, His Ex­cel­lency Sun Wei­dong has de­clared sat­is­fac­tion at Pak­istan’s se­cu­rity mea­sures al­though has ex­pressed con­cerns af­ter the das­tardly at­tack on the Chi­nese En­gi­neer at Karachi. In an in­ter­view to the me­dia, the Chi­nese Am­bas­sador has de­clared sol­i­dar­ity with Pak­istan and stated that “Pak­istan’s safety is China’s safety”. He has promised that work on CPEC will be com­pleted on sched­ule and no un­to­ward in­ci­dents will de­rail the mega project.

It is for the peo­ple of Pak­istan to re­al­ize that China is Pak­istan’s most trusted and tried friend, its “iron brother”, which has taken steps to in­vest 45 bil­lion dol­lars to es­tab­lish projects, which will ben­e­fit or­di­nary Pak­ista­nis. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion links, road and rail­way con­nec­tiv­ity, in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy link­age, in­dus­trial parks, schools, col­leges, en­ergy hubs, dams, hos­pi­tals, air­ports, fac­to­ries and com­mer­cial cen­ters will pro­vide in­vest­ment and job op­por­tu­ni­ties to Pak­ista­nis. It is im­per­a­tive to safe­guard CPEC and the lives and well be­ing of our Chi­nese brothers and sis­ters work­ing here for our fu­ture is de­pen­dent on Chi­nese mu­nif­i­cence.

An­other group, which is be­ing ex­ploited by the en­e­mies of Pak­istan, is the Afghan refugees. It has been more than three decades now that Afghan refugees are not only liv­ing in Pak­istan but also spoil­ing the law and or­der sit­u­a­tion of the coun­try. They have be­come a se­cu­rity risk. It is high time that they are sent back with­out giv­ing any ex­ten­sion or time frame. The na­tion wants them to re­turn to their own coun­try im­me­di­ately as we have suf­fered heav­ily in men and ma­te­rial and earned the an­i­mos­ity of the Afghan govern­ment. Nu­mer­ous ter­ror at­tacks are traced back to the Afghan refugees re­sid­ing in Pak­istan. For the sake of Pak­istan’s pros­per­ity and de­vel­op­ment, let us join hands with our Chi­nese brothers and add to the se­cu­rity of Pak­istan. —The writer is re­tired PAF Group Cap­tain and a TV talk show host.

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