Countering Anti-CPEC Propaganda: Ensuring Prosperity And Stability For Pakistan – OpEd


The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) stands as a monumental investment initiative aimed at fostering regional and economic connectivity within Pakistan. Through the establishment of an extensive network of transportation, energy, and industrial infrastructure, CPEC is envisioned to elevate the region’s economic status, create millions of job opportunities, and significantly reduce poverty levels. However, despite its potential benefits, CPEC has faced a barrage of misconceptions and propaganda efforts aimed at undermining its success. This article seeks to address these misconceptions and highlight the truth about CPEC’s impact on Pakistan and the broader region.

A recurrent narrative in anti-CPEC propaganda revolves around the supposed security threats facing the project. Reports, such as the one from Diplomats on May 29 by Kanwar Khuloune, claim that CPEC is under threat from a new wave of militancy targeting Chinese workers and investors. While security concerns are legitimate, the Pakistani government and its security forces have taken robust measures to ensure the safety of all personnel involved in CPEC projects. Specialized security units, including the Special Security Division, have been deployed to protect the infrastructure and the workforce, ensuring that development continues unhindered.

Another common claim, highlighted by Nilesh Kunwar, is that CPEC has failed to deliver on its promise of being a game changer. Such assertions often overlook the tangible progress already made and the long-term nature of infrastructure projects. Significant advancements have been made in various sectors, including energy, transportation, and industrial development, laying a strong foundation for future growth. The true impact of CPEC will be seen in the coming years as these projects reach completion and become operational.

Reports of protests against the fencing in Gwadar, as noted by Muriagam Suleman in Diplomats on May 23, have also been used to paint CPEC in a negative light. While it is true that some local populations have expressed concerns, these are being addressed through dialogue and inclusive development plans. The government is committed to ensuring that the benefits of CPEC are shared with local communities, providing them with substantial economic opportunities and improved living standards.

Likewise, critics argue that China is using CPEC to establish itself as a hegemonic power, treating Pakistan as a client state. In reality, CPEC is a mutually beneficial partnership that respects Pakistan’s sovereignty and aims to boost its economic standing. Some claim that CPEC projects exclude local populations and offer them no benefits. Contrary to this, numerous initiatives within CPEC are designed to uplift local communities through job creation and infrastructure development. The notion that China is creating a debt trap for Pakistan through expensive projects like CPEC is unfounded. CPEC investments are structured to enhance Pakistan’s economic capacity, with China being a reliable and strategic partner in this endeavor.

While there have been security concerns, Pakistan has implemented extensive measures to ensure the safety and security of Chinese workers on CPEC projects. The assertion that CPEC is an axis of Pakistan and China to damage Indian interests is a misrepresentation. CPEC is focused on economic development and regional connectivity, benefiting multiple stakeholders.  The idea that China will control Gwadar Port and exert naval influence in the region is another unfounded claim. Gwadar Port’s development is aimed at enhancing trade and economic growth, not military expansion. All above discussed propaganda narrative are beyond ground realities. 

Pakistan’s security forces are committed to ensuring the safety of all CPEC-related projects. Through the establishment of specialized security units and surveillance systems, Pakistan has created a secure environment for the smooth progression of CPEC initiatives. The successful tackling of militancy and terrorism within the country further reinforces the stability necessary for CPEC’s success.

CPEC is undoubtedly a transformative project that will bring significant economic benefits to Pakistan. By creating millions of new jobs and developing infrastructure, CPEC is poised to become a major contributor to Pakistan’s economic stability. The development of Gwadar Port and associated projects will serve as a strong economic foundation for future generations, particularly in underdeveloped regions.

The concerns of local populations, such as those in Gwadar regarding fencing, are being addressed through inclusive development plans. The government is ensuring that local communities receive substantial economic uplift opportunities linked with CPEC-related activities. By integrating local stakeholders into the development process, CPEC aims to provide inclusive growth and prosperity.

CPEC’s strategic importance cannot be overstated. By connecting Pakistan with China, the second-largest economy in the world, and Central Asian Republics (CARs), CPEC will facilitate regional trade and connectivity. This integration will promote economic interdependence, contributing to regional peace and stability. The CPEC is designed to reduce provincial disparities by creating economic opportunities in smaller provinces. Major projects in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, such as Gwadar Port, Gwadar International Airport, and various expressways, will bring integrated progress to comparatively backward areas of Pakistan. These projects will unite the provinces and foster comprehensive national development.

Gwadar Port, strategically located at the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, is set to become a regional trade hub. The port’s ability to handle large cargo vessels and its proximity to key markets will provide Pakistan, especially Balochistan, with significant economic opportunities. Pakistan has already implemented various security measures to protect CPEC projects. The deployment of specialized forces and advanced surveillance systems ensures a foolproof environment for the smooth progression of CPEC initiatives. These measures underscore Pakistan’s commitment to safeguarding its economic interests and strategic partnerships. The recent initiative of Pakistan to join the Shenzhen business forum will further boost the development momentum of CPEC. By integrating into global economic forums, Pakistan aims to attract more investment and enhance its economic standing on the international stage.

CPEC is a landmark project with the potential to transform Pakistan’s economic landscape and foster regional connectivity. Despite the ongoing propaganda efforts aimed at discrediting the initiative, the truth remains that CPEC is a mutually beneficial partnership that promises significant economic and strategic benefits for Pakistan. By addressing security concerns, ensuring inclusive development, and promoting regional integration, CPEC will pave the way for a prosperous and stable future for Pakistan and the broader region. It is imperative to counter the misinformation and recognize the transformative potential of CPEC in shaping a brighter future for all stakeholders involved. 

Muhammad Haroon

Muhammad Haroon is an Islamabad based commentator.

One thought on “Countering Anti-CPEC Propaganda: Ensuring Prosperity And Stability For Pakistan – OpEd

  • June 17, 2024 at 6:57 am

    After ten years of construction on the ground, the govt. is ‘committed’ and extolls the ‘potential’ , yet the contracts have been very lucrative to the extent that the interest cost has risen to over half the federal budget…with no apparent appetite to address a particularly straightforward capacity payment the detriment of the entire nation. Sheer willful incompetence.


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