Presently the talk of the town is the 100-day agenda that the PTI gave a month before the 2018 general election. Indeed, on November 25, the first 100 days of Imran Khan as Prime Minister were completed.
The top priority of the PTI agenda is poverty elevation and elimination of corruption for an economic uplift. It is pertinent to mention here that when we say the economic uplift then we can’t ignore CPEC because it is one of the chief contributing factors in poverty elevation, and to lower the power crises. So here is the point to ponder that what are the outcomes of the PTI’s CPEC vision as far as the CPEC in these first 100 days are concerned.
Imran Khan in his first speech as a Prime Minister termed CPEC as a way to upgrade the economically strained nation out of poverty. It was said that it is a paramount and an ideal project through which Pakistani people will enjoy the economic benefits. The PTI Government stressed that the new government under the supervision of Prime Minister Imran Khan would surely utilize the advantage of this economic opportunity for the development and betterment of Pakistan.
However, some critics during the start of the new political governance said that the new government will not continue the CPEC project on the previous terms and conditions and there is lack of transparency in CPEC.
Moreover critics like Michael Kugelman were of the view that China would be more comfortable with Sharif’s government instead of Imran because the former government had not raised any concerns related to the transparency of financial plans and agreed on broader terms of the CPEC on a whole.
There is no reality in all such statements because the PTI governments has taken CPEC as an opportunity that can raise the prospects of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and attract the investors across the border and region as well. It will add foreign reserve into Pakistan’s economy. CPEC is also a way to pull approximately 700 unemployed people out of the dark shadows of poverty.
PM Imran Khan’s successful visit to China is an example the PTI is taking CPEC as an important constituent of Pakistan Foreign policy and in upgrading the economy. The outcome of the PTI’s achievement in perusing the CPEC policies is not limited to the deepening of the relations between the two countries. It expanded the strategic communication between the two countries. A strategic dialogue mechanism has also been planned so that the cooperation on various issues of mutual concerns could be coordinated in well mannered.
CPEC is not limited to the economy — it also promote cultural and social convergence of two civilizations. The two states agreed to institute the social and lively hood working groups in order to promote the Construction of CPEC. Moreover, special focus was cooperation in the fields of economy and development of Special (SEZs), trade and finance for achieving extraordinary economic growth and to encourage exports. Along with this 15 agreements were signed in various other fields including science and technology, agriculture, humanities, etc.
Considering all the plans of Khan and his First 100 Days agenda of economic development and elevation of corruption as far as CPEC is concerned one can infer that although CPEC is a best opportunity under current circumstances to cope with economic challenges however it needs more transparency. There should be innovation of ideas to start new industries for economic growth and industrialization because we should not putt all the eggs in one basket.
Currently Pakistan’s biggest issue is facing the difficult economic situation that requires not only a corruption free Pakistan, rather a Pakistan which explores and utilizes it full resources and potential for economic rise. Now it’s important to observe that what new strategies the government will adopts to get best out of this CPEC Opportunity for the sake of nations vital interests.
*Qura tul ain Hafeez has done M Phil in international relations from Quaid-I Azam University Islamabad. She is currently working as a Research Associate at Strategic Vision Institute Islamabad. She can be reached at [email protected] .