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CPEC's implementation.

Pakistan Law Enforcing Agencies have dismantled extremists and terrorists' network in Karachi; eliminated extortion mafia, and there is let up in target killings. Zarb-e-Azb is progressing well, and COAS General Raheel Sharif is resolved to end the spectre of terrorism with the support of the government and people of Pakistan. It is imperative to establish the writ of the state throughout Pakistan to create climate conducive to investment and development. The CPEC project is part of Beijing's "Belt and Road" plan to expand its trade and transport footprint across Central and South Asia. It will give China easier access to Middle Eastern oil via the deepwater port of Gwadar. Of course, the completion of Gwadar would make Balochistan economic hub and create a strategic nexus between Pakistan, China and Central Asia.

It would provide links from the Caspian Sea to the Strait of Hormuz, and enable Gwadar to compete with Persian Gulf ports. The United States is wary of Chinese strategic access to the Arabian Sea and its presence in the region. Reportedly, the US tried several times to persuade Pakistan against involving China in the mega project. India has invested heavily in the road linking project from Afghanistan to Iran's Chahbahar port to lessen the importance of Gwadar Port. But given the determination of Pakistan and China, the project would be completed in time; Balochistan will become an economic hub, and people of Balochistan rather Pakistan will benefit from the mega project. It will also help Pakistan to achieve self-reliance, get rid of the dependency syndrome. The IMF then would not be able to dictate their terms to Pakistan.

Pakistan would become militarily strong, and India would think twice before hurling threats or posturing. On 1st June 2015, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the issue of CPEC during his recent visit to China and called the mega project unacceptable for the country. During a press conference, she said that the Indian government had summoned the Chinese envoy over the $46 billion economic corridor that is to run from Gwadar in Pakistan's west to China's Kashghar. China's Foreign Office has rejected India's reservations on CPEC, and said that "India's concerns are not right enough and we will carry on trade ties with Pakistan," adding that the CPEC would bring stability and prosperity in the region.

Out of desperation, India has stepped its vile acts. Last month, armed men wearing uniforms of the security forces killed 19 Pushtun passengers in Mastung to stir ethnic violence; and India appears to be behind the gory incident. Balochistan Chief Minister Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch had strongly condemned the incident and directed the authorities concerned to ensure immediate and safe recovery of the remaining passengers and arrest of the culprits. In view of improved relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, secret agencies of countries inimical to Pakistan or militants and extremists against the government have coalesced and stepped up their operations. There is incontrovertible evidence that Raw is funding and providing arms to banned Baloch outfits such as BRA, BLA and BLF.

A high level reconciliation and negotiation committee comprising seasoned Baloch, Pashtun and Sindhi leaders has been tasked by Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch to initiate dialogue even with Baloch separatists. Open offers for negotiations have been made to armed Baloch groups who often own the responsibility of killing many innocent people; but they refuse to come to the negotiations table. Balochistan - the mineral-rich and strategically-located province - is very much in the rivaling international eyes, with world powers and regional countries eyeing it avariciously to push it into their own orbits of influence and domination. According to political and defence analysts, the US, Russia, India and even Iran are either directly or indirectly widening the ethnic and sectarian schisms in Balochistan and FATA.
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Publication:Frontier Post (Peshawar, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 9, 2015
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