The locals in Pakistan are not happy with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a collection of infrastructure projects that are currently under construction throughout Pakistan. According to the International Crisis Group, Pak natives have expressed anguish over CPEC as it has not provided enough employment and has affected daily life due to the myriad presence of the military in the region. Richard Atwood, ICG’s director of policy told the leading daily TOI that people in Gwadar area have borne the aggressive actions of the military in the past and are worried about the voluminous presence of military presence in the region.
The Gwadar port is a crucial element of the CPEC as China aspires to have full access to the Arabian Sea and use it for commercial purposes. The area comes under tense Balochistan province, which is home to major insurgency, with heavy deployment of military.
The report also raised doubts about CPEC’s ability to provide economic growth to Pakistan, as it states that the project risks inflaming long-standing tensions between the centre and smaller federal units, and within provinces due to the one-sided economic development and resource dispensation.
The Brussels-based non-profit organisation report comes at a juncture when politicians need to pay attention to civilian concerns because Pakistan is going to have elections on July 25.
CPEC refers to a slew of infrastructure projects in Pakistan, which intends to link Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province to Gwadar Arabian sea, which is close to Pakistan’s border with Iran.
It involves innumerable other roads, rail and power projects which aims to deepen economic tried between China and Pakistan. According to a report published by Indian Express, the project is expected to provide some 700,000 jobs up to 2030, and speed up GDP growth significantly.