Geo-political location of Pakistan, amidst three great continents and surrounded by three big powers, China, India and Russia is strategically unique and extremely valuable. Pakistan tries to maintain the balance of its relations with both China and the West.
The China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a development megaproject which aims to connect Gwadar Port in southwestern Pakistan to China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, via a network of highways, railways and pipelines, to transport oil and gas. CPEC, indeed a great ‘game changer’, is considered central to China-Pakistan relations and will run about 3,000 km from Gwadar to Kashgar. It is considered that the completion of Gwadar would make it the economic hub of Baluchistan and create a strategic nexus between Pakistan, China and Central Asia, generating billions in revenue and providing shorter land routes. It would provide links from the Caspian Sea to Starit of Hormuz, and enable Gwadar to compete with Persian Gulf ports. For India, CPEC means that China shall have the upper hand in the Arabian Sea as it will have complete control over the Straits of Hormuz through Gwadar’s seaport. Having such apprehensions India has invested significantly in the Port of Chabahar in Iran. The development of Chabahar, which lies a few miles away from Gwadar, is part of India’s efforts for access to Afghanistan and Central Asia while bypassing Pakistan. ‘The move represents a shift toward greater economic cooperation between Pakistan and China, which have long had close security ties amid common disputes with neighboring India .The corridor would give China access to the Indian Ocean and lead to investments that would help ease power shortages that are hindering economic growth in Pakistan.’
Harmony and co-operation can lead to a fairly progress to both countries, Pakistan and China. Moreover, David M Darst, the Chief Investment Strategist of Morgan Stanley, in one of his lectures in Pakistan, highly talked about Pakistan’s future, its rise and economic importance in the coming decades with emphasis on the youth of Pakistan. Morgan Stanley Predicts Pakistan is next Rising Economy of World. “Demographics will play a major role in coming decades. Pakistan is among those nine countries in Asia that will add another China in the next 35 years and the impact of this change will be phenomenal on the world economy,” he said while giving a lecture in Agha Khan University on “The World Economic Environment: Where’s the Global Capital Going”. Gen Pervez Musharraf has envisioned this status years ago which is predicted by Darst in 2015. His purpose behind Gawadar Port was to link up Pakistan with the oil rich Arabian Peninsula and to provide access of Central Asian countries and China to the warm waters of Arabian Sea. In his words: “Our geo-strategic significance can’t be reduced. We need to realize that we have understood that and therefore we have constructed a new port at Gwadar which is at the mouth of the Gulf almost.”
Pakistan without oil and petro-dollars, with even political instability can build everything from nuclear warheads to combat aircraft to tanks to cruise missiles; the most innovative and competent military-industrial complex in the Muslim world. A deliberate effort to uproot the corruption and terrorism from Pakistan by Gen Raheel Sharif (COAS) is remarkable which will be a milestone in years to come. With the sincere leadership and good planning, the words of Darst can be true in future. All predictions are not to be considered true but the words by prophets and saints surely are not meaningless. Here are the meaningful words by a great Muslim Sufi Saint of this era, Hazrat Abu Anees Muhammad Barkat Ali, “The time is not far off when the decisions of the world will be based on the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ of Pakistan.”