Alice Wells remarks on CPEC are worth considerations
Since the beginning of this decade, the US has been facing many challenges and losing on many fronts. Either pulling troops from Syria and Afghanistan, or the South China Sea, or Baltic Ocean, or Ukraine or Middle-East, or North Korea or Iran, the US hegemony is a question mark. Under this scenario, the frustration is understandable.
As a matter of fact, Pakistan and the US were close allies and enjoyed trust and cooperation for 7 decades. Either it was a cold war era, or war on terror, there existed complete harmony and trust. Pakistan may be a small country, but possessing a vital geostrategic location. As long as trust existed between the two nations, the US was able to achieve its strategic goals in this region. Pakistan’s role was pivotal and decisive.
But, the US started to deviate and kept on blaming Pakistan for its own wrong-doings and failures.
The US demand for “Do More”, without considering Pakistan’s capacity and interests was the major cause. Finally the American shifted its policies suddenly in 2011 and aligned itself with India, signed “Major Defense Partner” with India, and supported India politically and diplomatically against Pakistan. Provided India the latest weapons and technology., extended the heavy economic and fiscal package to India, provided them all banned and sensitive technologies, in fact, India has become the biggest beneficiary of the US assistance after Israel.
In fact, the US has taken a 180-degree turn and offered Pakistan not only a cold shoulder but written off completely. Under such circumstances, the friendship of 7 decades was ignored and put Pakistan in severe crisis. Pakistan was passing the worst ever economic crisis and shortage of electricity. The US ignored Pakistan’s interests absolutely and sided with India. But unfortunately, India does not possess the capacity to meet the expectations of the US. Pakistan should not be blamed, for wrong policies and the choice of Americans.
It was natural that a country with a severe shortage of electricity and absolutely outdated infrastructure, to avail BRI opportunity to meet its requirements. While we have already signed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework with China and now are in the middle of it, warning from the US may not be useful at this stage.
Warning from a very senior US diplomat like Alice Wells, the acting assistant secretary of state for South Asia, told a conference on November 21 that the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will only profit Beijing. “The United States has warned Pakistan of the long-term risks to its economy if it embraces China’s massive infrastructure project and suggested that it should instead look to the U.S. business model”.
In the history of Pakistan, total foreign investment attracted was around 42 billion US dollars in 65 years, before CPEC. While only with in few years, China has pledged 62 billion US dollars of investment. Projects around 28 billion of US dollars are in executed in Pakistan and projects approximately worth 20 billion US dollars have been completed already.
Pakistan is one of the biggest beneficiaries of BRI. In fact, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the six planned corridors under BRI. CPEC is a flagship project and considered a role model for the rest of the world. The success of CPEC is considered the success of BRI. Due to its vital importance to the Government of Pakistan as well as the Chinese Government, it attaches the highest importance to it.
When China launched BRI in 2013, Pakistan welcomed it and joined it immediately. CPEC was signed and today, people of Pakistan are beneficiary of CPEC’s fruits. Any criticism or warning from America is rejected by both China and Pakistan. Pakistan is a sovereign state and has the absolute right to decide its relationships with any nation in its national interests.
The US interference and warnings are un-necessary and unacceptable by any norms of the civilized world.
However, Pakistan is an open country, very broad-minded people, and flexible in nature policies. We welcome all other nations including America to join CPEC or any other development projects in Pakistan. CPEC is not limited to China only, Saudi Arabia, UAE, France and many other countries have shown interest to invest in CPEC projects. We are open to all. We assure the best possible incentive-based policies and protect the interests of all investors. Our doors are always open to everyone. Warm welcome to American companies. But Pakistan cannot compromise its strategic interest with China or Russia.
Pakistan is a peace-loving nation, a responsible state, and matured enough to make its own decisions without any dictation from any outsiders. The visionary leadership of Pakistan is capable to overcome any challenge imposed on Pakistan.