If you have a strong will, even the mountain and oceans give the ways. The greater the cause, the larger the challenges. The CPEC project has further cemented the bondage between two great traditional buddies; now, they are also partnering in significant emerging economic-artery of the world. The novel epidemic Covd19 has shattered the global economy; the world is still resonating with the after-shocks.
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The world will take a long time to recover from it. China is the first country implicated by this epidemic and the first who recovered. Life has become a routine in China; economic activities also tracked-back to normal. August 2020, witnessed a 9.5% growth in its exports. It also did not allow the Covid19 to slower-down the CPEC’s pace of developmental-work. It was never possible, if not reciprocated by its strategic partner, Pakistan.
Pakistan responded with equal passion that also opened up many new avenues of opportunities. CPEC is going to create 2.3 million new job opportunities could change the economic land escape of any country. Mr. Arif Ali, president of Pakistan, was the first head of the state who visited China in March 2020 to meet his counterpart with a core-agenda of CPEC. The leaders of both countries regurgitated to extend the areas of cooperation; especially, they were one voice on CPEC. Chines president sent another special message to its strategic partner in august 2020. The newly appointed, a non-career, Chinese envoy to Pakistan is due to meet and give a special message to the president Alvi in the second week of November 2020. The president, Mr. Xi Jinping, is anticipated to visit Pakistan to cut the stripe of many projects; homework of that is underway. It will give new spirit to the Chinese, Pakistani and international investors.
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The stalemate on Chinese sponsored mass transit project, orange train Lahore, unlocked. Diya Mer Bhasha Dam and Azad Patan hydel-power projects continued to be advancing. Such other eight projects of similar nature are in progress as per their schedule. Both sides also agreed-upon to cooperate in agro-sector.
In the first week of November 2020, both the countries decided to fasten the pace of road networking and other infrastructure. The development of Sheikhupura Industrial Park, Expressway Gwadar, Water Desalination Plant, Power Plant Gwadar, Gwadar International Airport, and many other CPEC projects did not stop their work despite the variety of oddities, both micro and macro level, during the Covid19.
The results are out-come of teamwork that works under a leadership. If we see at Pakistani part of the CPEC, the name of the one-year-old CPEC authority’s Chairman, Lt.Gen.(R), Asim Saleem Bajwa stands out. Being the ex-Southern commander, he knows every inch of Baluchistan and Gwadar-a focal point of One Belt One Road initiated by China. Mr.Bajwa bridged the people of Baluchistan with army and CPEC by arranging Jeep-Rallies, musical concerts, visit of international parliamentarians and cultural activities. He set aside all security risks to promote such activities with his presence. He could be seen giving selfies to the local youth during the festivals. I think this was the most likely reason to name him as Chairman of new constituted CPEC authority. No wonder, if he is under attack by the anti-CPEC camps, including India. He is a stone cracking their eyes. He exhibited marvelous administrative skills during the last COVID-19-ridden year to justify his appointment to head the extraordinary significant CPEC authority. The spokesperson of China has also diffused all skepticism by showing their confidence and satisfaction regarding CPEC, during a press-briefing in Beijing, in the first week of November. The spokesperson, further, anticipated Billions USD 25 direct investments in CPEC projects.
The author is also an honorary Secretary to Gwadar Builders and Developers’ Association; however, above is his personal version.