Peshawar: Terming the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project a game changer for Pakistan, noted intellectual and expert on CPEC Prof Dr Naushad Khan has said that this project would change the security paradigm of the region by making Pakistan’s Western and Eastern borders safe from external threats.
Addressing a seminar on CPEC myth and reality organised by the Ministry of Planning Development and National Reforms Islamabad and Islamia College Peshawar (ICP), Dr Naushad, who is the head of Pakistan Studies Department ICP, said CPEC is not a myth, but a strong reality carrying immense importance for all sectors, including economic development, energy and security perspective.
This national project, he said, would change the security paradigm of the region.
Pakistan would make a lead role in the security, trade and economy of the region once the Gwadar sea port becomes operational and the grave problem of energy shortfall is addressed, he added.
By linking Kashgar with Gwadar Port through a network of roads and railway lines, the CPEC project has the potential to inject new life into the regional economies.
The CPEC project would not only help Pakistan and China, but other countries in South and Central Asia, as well, he added.
Dr Naushad said Balochistan and KP would be largely benefited from this mega project of $46 billion direct foreign investment and less developed areas of these regions would come at par with the developed parts of the country.
The project would help Pakistan’s investment starved economy, besides bringing massive improvement in the KP ramshackle transport, economy and energy infrastructure.
The operationalisation of Gwadar Port will make Pakistan emerge as a regional transshipment hub; thus, will directly benefit KP and Balochistan.
He said that Pakistan is geographically located on an ideal location that links landlocked Central Asian Republics (CARs), South Asia and China and this prime advantage could effectively be utilised through enhanced regional connectivity for which CPEC is of immense importance.
With completion of CPEC, the distance and space would be reduced and economic and trade activities would get upward boom.
Dr Naushad said national cohesion necessary for CPEC could be achieved through uniformed education system and urged the Ministry of Planning and Development to include CPEC in the curriculum, besides increasing the marks of Pakistan Studies subjects in the examination.