Concept of “regional connectivity” is being increasingly endorsed at various forums in the region surrounding Pakistan. These are evident from the statements of key official of SAARC chamber as well as from discussions at SCO. CPEC can be connected as a central element of this connectivity. On domestic front, though Pak army successfully persuaded traders of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) to resume trade at Khunjerab Pass, some local investors remained concerned about preferential incentives to Chinese. Amid disturbed financial status of some CPEC projects due to delayed payments from Pakistan, Main Line-1 (ML-1) Karachi to Havelian section was being upgraded as the early harvest project of CPEC.
These were some of the key developments occurring in June 2018. The findings have been shared in CPEC monthly monitor, released by CPEC Watch, an initiative of Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think tank.
Every month, CPEC Watch releases a monthly monitor summarizing key development occurring around China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Below are the salient ones for June 2018:
- Domestic industrial growth is expected with the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the second phase of CPEC.
- State authorities are largely positive about the results of CPEC.
- Local investors have been seeking equal incentives as Chinese are enjoying and engineers feel Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) failed to provide them employment opportunities.
- In Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan Army pursued traders who protested against Web based online Custom system, to call off their protests.
- A new development on CPEC security ground is the launch of a meteorological satellite from China to keep informed the countries of Belt and Road Initiative about the advance weather forecast.
- The financial closure of some CPEC power projects has been disrupted because Pakistan has deferred payment of worth Rs 16billion and later decided to establish a revolving fund to tackle this issue.
- Upgradation of Main Line-1 (ML-1) Karachi to Havelian section was being done under the early harvest project of CPEC.
- President South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) suggested regional states to use SAARC as a forum to promote regional connectivity under CPEC.
- During the 18thmeeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), all member states supported CPEC except India.
- Former National Security Advisor of Pakistan Nasser Khan Janjua believed a free regional trade will not be an easy task without including India in CPEC.
Read complete “CPEC Monitor – June 2018”