21 Dec 17/Thursday

With the latest decision of using Yuan, the Chinese currency, in bilateral trades in CPEC related projects; China has made it clear about its egoistic urgency to have an economic influence over USA. Priority for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) termed as the “flagship” project of ‘One Belt, One Road (OBOR)’ initiative, assumes far more importance for China, as the total cost of the project mounts to $62billion from initial estimate of $46billion.

Another aspect, that China is only bothered about the CPEC and no one else, emerges from the cold response given to Nawaz Sharif, on his disqualification as Prime Minister of the country after the Panama Gate fiasco. On the similar lines why China is saving Azhar Masood, the JeM chief, fully knowing that his outfit has been tagged as terrorist outfit by the UN? It’s because China cannot afford JeM terrorists lurking around the CPEC to avenge their leader, should he be declared a global terrorist by China too.

Even it has been opined that the house arrest of Hafiz Saeed is not because of USA but it may be China behind the entire game plan as he doesn’t want India-Pakistan relations to further deteriorate which may affect the progress of economic corridor.

CPEC, right from the word go, has not been a smooth sail for China. Issues like displacement of local residents along the proposed roads, Collection of Karakoram toll tax, Higher Tariff for the Power plants, Khunjerab railway line and China issuing fresh financial norms resulting in Pakistan pulling out of US$14 billion Diamer-Bhasha dam project, have been complicating the issue. Latest being the stoppage of funding of at least three major road projects in Pakistan, as part of CPEC.

Another major worry of China is serious security threat from Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other jihadi groups. Therefore China to a large extent depends on Pakistan Army for security.

With all these worries, the recent demarches issued to Pakistan and China by India, conveying its position on the construction of dams on the Indus river in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) by the Pakistani government with assistance committed to these projects by China, will certainly rake up the issue once again. India has vehemently objected to the CPEC as the infrastructures are being built in areas illegally occupied by Pakistan. Such activities are construed as violations of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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