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Increasing dissatisfaction with CPEC in Pakistan: International Crisis Group

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According to the International Crisis Group, there is growing dissatisfaction among the local people about CPEC in Pakistan. The local people are scared of insufficient employment and the impact of civilian life in the large number of army around the 2,700-km long China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. ICG policy director Richard Atwood told
that, ‘People in Gwadar area have faced aggressive military operations in the past. They are worried about the growing military presence’.

Gwadar Port is a major part of CPEC and China hopes to reach the Arabian Sea through it and wants to use it as an alternative maritime route for export. This area falls in disturbed Balochistan province, where there is a major problem of insurgency and as a result the army is deployed in a large number of areas.

Of course, the report of the ICG will surely focus on the issue of growing dissatisfaction with the Pakistan leaders because this report has come at a time when very disputed elections in Pakistan are going to take place.

The Brussels-based non-profit organization said that if Pakistan and China do not take immediate steps to address the concerns of common people, political tension and hostilities can increase due to the $ 62 billion CPEC project.

The report of ICG says, “Pakistan’s economy needs improvement and all the officials are saying that CPEC will help it. But the project going through the process of creation is threatening to develop political tensions, social divisions and to create a new kind of conflict in Pakistan. ”

China is anxious to avoid incidents that could affect this project because CPEC is an important part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, which it wants to spread across the continents.

It has been said in the report that due to the displacement of the communities without any clear rehabilitation policy for infrastructure projects, there has been an increase in anti-Chinese sentiments in some areas around the corridor. It has also been said that the extremists have killed dozens of Pakistanis due to their involvement with CPEC.

The leaders of Pakistan and China have repeatedly claimed that Pakistan will get economic benefits from CPEC, but ICG has expressed doubts over it. ICG doubts that Pakistan has the capability to make economic benefits in CPEC.

It is said in the report, “It is too early to say anything about whether CPEC will be able to get the desired economic advantage for Islamabad or not. However, this project threatens to cause long-term tension between the center and smaller federal units. ‘

Under the CPEC project, there is a plan to build a network of transport, energy, industrial and agricultural projects, which will be spread over 2,700 km from Gwadar Port adjacent to the Arabian Sea and Kashgar of the remote western region of China, to Kashgar.