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World
26 May 2017

UN reports say CPEC could worsen Indo-Pak relations

Can CPEC worsen Indo-Pak relations?

A report compiled by the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia, has stated that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor could spell disaster for Indo-Pak relations and could potentially deteriorate the regional security scenario.

The report underscored the repercussions of increased geopolitical tension between Indian and Pakistan.

It also cast doubt over the viability of the project due to political instability in the region.

In context

Can CPEC worsen Indo-Pak relations?

What did the report convey?

The report stated that "The dispute over Kashmir is also of concern, since the crossing of the CPEC in the region might create geo-political tension with India and ignite further political instability." It was prepared at the request of China.

What is OBOR?

About

What is OBOR?

The One Belt One Road Initiative, later renamed the Belt and Road Initiative, has two components: a land based Silk Road Economic Belt and a sea based Maritime Silk Road.

It aims to connect Asia and Europe through a network of industrial and trade corridors, enhancing Eurasia's connectivity with China.

Through OBOR, China plans to boost international influence and achieve industrial capacity co-operation.

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Details

What is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor?

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an under construction, multi-billion dollar development project which seeks to improve Sino-Pak connectivity and enhance regional trade.

The project envisages the creation of energy pipelines, road-and-rail links and industrial trade corridors between China and the Pakistani port of Gwadar.

It runs through PoK.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Nawaz Sharif announced the initiative on 22 May 2013 in Islamabad.

India dismisses CPEC participation

India opposes Chinese CPEC projects within PoK which are an extension of the OBOR initiative. Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said "No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Some concerns highlighted by the report

Concerns

Some concerns highlighted by the report

The main concern highlighted by the report is possibilities of separatist movements reigniting in Balochistan. This is mainly due to concerns that local communities would be displaced and lose their livelihoods.

The report also said that increasing instability in Afghanistan could be problematic for the security concerns for CPEC.

Lastly the report argues that the project would ignite a severe Indo-Pak diplomatic crisis.

Recommendations

What does the report recommend?

The report recommended that China should discontinue the bilateral mechanism for CPEC and instead engage all regional players and form a multilateral consensus for the project.

It said China needed to integrate CPEC with regional co-operation initiatives for it to be successful.

It added that local dissent and security considerations must take priority if the project is to be realized.

Regional inclusiveness is a must says report

"To be effective and deliver results in a timely fashion, it should go beyond bilateral project transactions to promote regional and multilateral policy frameworks...The BRI will serve the interests of China effectively if it is...well integrated into existing regional cooperation initiatives."

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