Sun, 22 May 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 15 (ANI): China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the ambitious project of Beijing and Islamabad, has trapped into Pakistan's worsening security situation, the rise of terror attacks in the country and domestic unrest leading to slow progress of the project which has been disappointing Beijing, said a report.

China has been expressing its disappointments to Islamabad as the latter has been continuously failing to provide complete security to the project and the people involved in it.

Even Islamabad is facing rising unrest and protests from locals in Balochistan, Gwadar and other areas as they accuse the government of depriving them of basic amenities and rights.

The CPEC's northern end, where China has heavily invested in infrastructure that is already operational, the return of the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan has raised prospects of threats from terror groups. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) are getting active not far from the route. While the Afghan Taliban are fighting the IS-K, the Imran Khan government is desperately seeking to reach a peace deal with the TTP, said a report by Geopolitica on Saturday.

The dangerous mix of militant groups is working in both, collusion and at cross-purpose at the same time, to suit their immediate plans have endangered the Corridor, the report said.

The CPEC's southern end witnessed recurring protests in Gwadar port that Beijing planned, funded, built and now operates as its principal gateway into the Indian Ocean to ensure speedy fuel supplies from the Gulf nearby, has tied both Beijing and Islamabad in an unenviable fix, the report added.

Thousand of 'nationalists' have 'disappeared' (detained by intelligence agencies), or have been killed in Balochistan as they speak for their rights and oppose the federal government's policies which ignore locals.

Maulana Hedayatur Rahman, a cleric of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), led the recent Gwadar protests.

Rehman stuck to the political and economic demands of the local Balochs and held back his party's own agenda. The JI leader was able to carry along the Baloch 'nationalist' groups. People, including women, not only from Gwadar port city but from nearby districts of Balochistan converged by the thousands and stayed on for a month, said the Geopolitica report.

This was the biggest protest movement in Gwadar, a sleepy port town, gained prominence as a city with a modern port. Analysts believe there has been development, but the same has not generated jobs and resources for the local populace, fuelling simmering anger, the report added. However, the protests seemed to make disappoint China as such domestic issues led to a halt in the progress of the CPEC works.

However, the experts have been doubtful about Pakistan's willingness and its ability to meet these demands in foreseeable future to the satisfaction of the protestors. But in an attempt to silence the protests, Islamabad has sought time to meet their demands.

Beijing has heavily invested in the CPEC as a short route that allows it to avoid the circuitous Gulf of Malacca and the South China Sea region, noted experts. However, the emerging deteriorating security scenario in the Af-Pak region, through which the CPEC traverses, could jeopardise Beijing's long-term plans in the region and beyond, according to Geopolitica. (ANI)

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