Updated: December 01, 2021 12:31 is
Islamabad [Pakistan], December 1 (ANI): Massive protests have rocked Balochistan’s Gwadar where angry locals demonstrate against China’s multi-billion belt and road project.
Local people have accused the Imran Khan government of transferring the funds to China.
The protesters demanded basic board, even as authorities continued to circumvent resources to build the port and oversee the grievances of the local population.
According to a report in the Singapore Post, these protests have brought back the exploitative nature of Chinese investment in Pakistan.
Despite years of involvement with Pakistan, China remains a subject of intense control and susceptibility to Pakistan’s internal conflicts, the report said.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been embroiled in controversy since the announcement of the USD 46 billion project in 2015.
Locals oppose China’s growing involvement in Balochistan. They are protesting because the CPEC project has not benefited the people of Balochistan, while people from other provinces are enjoying the fruits of the mega project.
This has led to widespread protests, as the Chinese are seen as burglars squeezing all wealth out of the region.
Back in October, thousands of Gwadar and Turbat residents had also gathered there to demonstrate against the unavailability of drinking water, health and education facilities and rising unemployment in Makran division, Dawn newspaper reported.
The CPEC project would connect Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port of Balochistan to the Arabian Sea with the western Xinjiang region of China. It also includes plans to build road, rail and oil pipeline connections to improve the connection between China and the Middle East.
The ongoing protests in Gwadar confirm the argument that the CPEC is not a panacee for Pakistan’s economic growth and remains a half-baked idea.
Any attempt to impose top-down development programs without addressing the concerns of people can only put the project on the path of failure, reported The Singapore Post.
Therefore, China and Pakistan will have to re-examine their investments and efforts in Gwadar so that the project is not condemned. (ANI)