CPEC Monthly Monitor – July 2017
As Pakistan braced for its latest political crisis, this time in the shape of disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, speculations weighed in over the progress on CPEC. Yet, political and military leadership continued to strongly vow support to the multi-billion initiative. The message so far, from both Pakistan and China, has been that their relations can withstand any change in domestic affairs.
These was a key observation on CPEC occurring in July 2017. Every month, CPEC Watch releases a monthly monitor summarizing key developments occurring around China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Below are the salient ones for July 2017:
- China termed the disqualification of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the Supreme Court as Pakistan’s internal affair and hoped it would not affect the CPEC in any way.
- Meanwhile, Pakistani and Chinese leaders and diplomats emphasized timely execution of the CPEC projects; the businessmen and trade officials, in particular, underscored the need for the development of industrial zones under the CPEC.
- The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has set reportedly aside Rs 700 million for the secure execution of CPEC and earmarked one billion rupees for the establishment of a special force of 3,800 personnel to ensure the security of CPEC workers.
- Two security incidents were reported in July, one each from Ghotki and Karachi in Sindh, injuring one Chinese national.
- No major CPEC-linked concern from Pakistan’s different provinces and regions was raised during the month. Work on CPEC project that was once stopped by the protesters in Battagram district in KP province resumed after the government ensured the compensation to the affectees and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure along the CPEC route.
- To enhance the regional integration, the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif offered Tajikistan to use Gwadar Port and other transportation infrastructure.
- Many highlighted the role of CPEC in uplifting road and railways infrastructure in Pakistan – railways authorities from both countries also discussed the up-gradation of ML-1 under the CPEC – as well as in increasing FDI inflows in the country and developing different sectors including energy.