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CPEC — Beginning of a new era

BY Ali Sukhanvar

Propaganda and disinformation

 It is also a fact that for the last many years Indian agents are trying their best to misguide the people of Balochistan that the government of Pakistan is exploiting their natural resources

 The truth is the truth though most of the time it is bitter but there must be a clear difference between truth and propaganda. No war could be won on the basis of propaganda but some of our friends in India are trying to win a self-waged war against their closest neighbor, Pakistan. A few days back, an article was published by a blogger Shabir Choudhry with the title, CPEC is not a holy Cow. The author begins his article with very bitter criticism on Pakistan, particularly on CPEC. He says, ‘Pakistan faces many serious problems; and among them is the status and invulnerability of holy cows, and people who are above the Pakistani laws. Bitter fact is growth in number of holy cows, accumulation of wealth and power they possess. It (CPEC) runs without permission through our land, Gilgit Biltistan, which is part of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir.’ He further says, ‘CPEC could be a holy cow to some Pakistanis; but to China it is an economic project with strategic and military significance. Chinese are very cruel businessmen; they will fully exploit Pakistan just like Pakistan is exploiting resources of Pakistani Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Biltistan. I am a citizen of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and my loyalty is with my state and its people. I don’t have to be loyal to neighbours of Jammu and Kashmir or to those who occupy us. My fear is despite much hype and attraction, CPEC will prove to be a white elephant for Pakistan; and it could be Pakistan’s Waterloo.’

Though the writer has very passionately, rather emotionally, tried to plead the ‘stuffed’ point of view but in his heat and haste, he contradicted his own narrated arguments. He admits that ‘Gilgit Biltistan is part of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir’. It means he has accepted the fact that the present day Gilgit Biltistan has nothing to do with Jammu and Kashmir as it once used to be a part of Jammu Kashmir. Secondly, on the one hand he says, ‘my loyalty is with my state and its people, I don’t have to be loyal to neighbours of Jammu and Kashmir’ but at the same time he expresses his worries that ‘CPEC will prove to be a white elephant for Pakistan.’ It seems that the writer is not clear about the point of view he has planned to express. Usually one has to face this situation of confusion when one is presenting some other’s point of view. The respected author has pleaded the same point of view on CPEC which is usually expressed by India.

A few weeks back the Indian Express, no doubt a much esteemed newspaper of India, also published an article with the same contents. The title was ‘Corridor of Uncertainty ’. The author of this article tried his best to present that picture of Pakistan, of the security forces of Pakistan, of the people of Pakistan and of CPEC which is certainly not corresponding to the reality. He says, “The only big thing going for an isolated Pakistan is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Unable to tackle its internal security problems — for which it now wrongly blames India — it prefers focusing on the good times the world thinks the Chinese investment of $46 billion will bring.” In short the CPEC project has become a pain in the neck for the ‘well-wishers’ of Pakistan.

Our sweet friends in the neighbourhood must keep one thing very clear in their mind that CPEC is neither a ‘holy cow’ nor a ‘white elephant’; this project is simply the ‘game-changer’. If this project were not so important, our ‘friends’ in the neighbourhood would not have wasted so much of their precious time and energy on defaming and maligning it. They know it very well CPEC could be a serious and alarming threat to India not to Pakistan. CPEC will connect Kashgar, the historical city of China, to Pakistan’s port Gwadar in Balochistan. This connection will help China in getting its oil supplies from West Asia. CPEC passes through Azad Kashmir running parallel to the Line of Control between Pakistan and India. It could have a hazardous impact on strategic assets of India in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. India is feeling all these possible consequences.

It is also a fact that for the last many years Indian agents are trying their best to misguide the people of Balochistan that the government of Pakistan is exploiting their natural resources and nothing is being done for the people. This blame game is the very foundation of all so-called separatist movements in Balochistan, patronised by the Indian agencies. After the completion of CPEC, India will have to search for some other blame or allegation to malign Pakistan as CPEC would not only reduce unemployment and poverty but also become a source of economic stability in Balochistan. If India wishes to take some advantage from CPEC, it will have to come forward with open eyes and open arms. With the help of propaganda and disinformation, the marvelous CPEC project cannot be maligned anymore.

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