By Zamir Ahmed Awan
India is the only country in this region opposing the Chinese mega initiative “One Belt one Road” generally termed as “BRI”. Since its announcement by Chinese President Xi Jin Ping in 2013, many countries have joined it and several countries are beneficiary of the BRI initiative already. A positive impact of this initiative has been acknowledged in some of the member states. It is all about Infrastructure development, promoting interaction among member states, promoting trade and investment, promoting people to people contacts and promoting understanding among the nation to reduce misunderstanding among various cultures.
China has established “Asia Infrastructure International Bank” (AIIB) to support the investment requirements for promotion of Infrastructure developments in the BRI member countries. Chinese Companies equipped with the latest technology, rich in experience and having enough resources (capital as well as human resources) are ready to execute any complex project in any member country.
Unfortunately, there exists some resistance to this initiative of development. The major reason for resistance may be lack of understanding or misunderstanding. But there is evidence that some nations are scared of Chinese influence and globalization and they resist BRI. The US is afraid, China may surpass the American Economy and become the number one largest economy, which may be difficult to digest for them. Indo-Pacific Alliance was established with its members like America, Australia, Japan, and India to counter China or contain China’s development.
India has been openly opposing BRI, especially the “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” (CPEC). On many occasions, India expressed its anti-BRI sentiments and has allocated a budget of US Dollars 500 Million to its notorious Intelligence Agency “RAW” to sabotage CPEC. There are several pieces of evidence of Indian terrorist activities in Pakistan targeting CPEC, Chinese Nationals and CPEC projects, etc.
It is worth high lighting that India is getting US-Aid to contain China or counter China. India has been getting Financial, Economic assistance, and transfer of technology, Hi-tech, latest lethal weapons, in addition to political and diplomatic support from America to counter China. But, unfortunately, India is using all its resources to counter Pakistan. Its 7 out of 9 Commands are deployed against Pakistan, 81% of its air Force is deployed to counter Pakistan, and its Navy is focused to contain Pakistan. India is over-engaged to isolate and defame Pakistan diplomatically and politically. CIA has this information and the US administration has realized it recently.
However, the recent Indian accession of Kashmir on the 5th of August 2019, may have a severe impact on BRI/ CPEC. Since 5 August, Kashmir is under curfew and the situation is very tense. Pakistan has taken all possible preventive or defensive measures, so the situation on both sides of the Line of Control between India and Pakistan is quite tense and life is not very much routine & normal.
CPEC is passing through Pakistani side of Kashmir but due to close to Line of Control, the normal life and activities have been disturbed. Projects under execution may face disturbance. CPEC is a flagship project and may have impact on over-all BRI. Both, China and Pakistan, were working hard to make CPEC a role model to be followed by the rest of the world and the remaining 5 planned corridors under BRI. If there is any damage or delay to the Flag-Ship project, it must be reflected on other projects under BRI adversely.
China understands the implications of Indian misadventure on CPEC/BRI. China is an equally stake-holder to Kashmir Issue as its disputed territory among China, Pakistan, and India. According to the UN, it is declared disputed territory and must be resolved according to UN resolution. The recent UNSC indoor meeting also emphasized the implementation of UN resolution passed 7 decades ago. India has been delaying or denying the implementation of UN resolution since 1948 and recent accession has further complicated the situation.
Pakistan and China are both peace-loving nations and believe in diplomacy. China-Pakistan wanted to resolve the Kashmir issue according to UN resolution passed in 1948 and wanted a peaceful settlement of the issue. Strongly oppose India’s irrational act unilaterally and condemn the use of force.
It is hoped that India may respect the UN, respect International Community, Respect Human Rights, and resolve the Kashmir issue according to the UN Charter.
Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan is a Sinologist (ex-Diplomate), Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.