CPEC Monthly Monitor – May 2017
Pakistan tried to portray political unanimity over CPEC, by the participation of all four chief ministers in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in Beijing. Back home, however, calls for releasing the details of the corridor were made once again, especially after a leading newspaper revealed what it called, and government rejected, the long-term plan of the corridor.
These were some of the key developments occurring in May 2017. Every month, CPEC Watch releases a monthly monitor summarizing key developments occurring around China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Below are the salient ones for May 2017:
- China hosted Belt and Road Forum summit in Beijing. While all the regional countries participated, India was conspicuous for its absence, objecting to the passage of the corridor from what it claims to be disputed territory.
- From Pakistan, chief ministers of all four provinces, along with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, participated, in what is read as a message of accord by leading parties. Yet, the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan was missing, his absence duly commented and protested in GB.
- Meanwhile, government circles continued to laud the fruits of CPEC. The buck also seems to have been passed to the provinces. Sindh and KP government directly signing some of the memorandums of the projects, and federal minister for planning asked the central government to cooperate with provincial governments, too.
- Yet, nationalist forces, especially in smaller provinces, and GB, continue to express their reservation. While some direct concerns at the central governments, other suspect the motives of the project.
- Questions over the details continued to be raised. In May, a leading newspaper published what it termed was the long-term plan of CPEC; this plan stirred debate over whether agriculture is the main focus on CPEC and whether any surveillance system will be set up across the country.
- The federal government rejected the revealed plan, dispelling fears of being colonized by China and assuring that it will broadcast the final draft of the long-term plan on CPEC website.
- Meanwhile, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has set up the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) and formed a Combined Investigation Team (CIT) to ensure the transparency of CPEC. Also, parliamentary committee on CPEC has declared that 9 Special Economic Zones be set up in all federating units of Pakistan, including GB.
Read complete “CPEC Monitor – May 2017” (PDF)