Good, bad or ugly? Pakistan is not sure how the CPEC will affect its environment and economy

Mohammad Saleem Badar Din and have never heard of CPEC, but see a lot of Chinese around. Their leader is the Chinese and communicate with him through gestures, as they do not speak the same language.

The men, in their twenties, traveled in a town of Sehwan in Sindh Gwadar to work like workers in the site of construction of the port. \

Even after paying rent for accommodation, meals and transportation, they save more than they have ever earned in their own village. “There is work for everyone,” said Saleem, who was able to buy sunshine and a fan for his family.

This is what Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said throughout the process that the China-Pakistan economic corridor, an essential part of China’s belt and highway initiative, will open up huge employment opportunities for Pakistanis.

When deciding the Himalayas, the corridor is 3000 km, 62 billion Kashgar, in western China through the territories, plains and deserts challenged to reach Gwadar in Pakistan on the shores of the Arabian Sea.

Along the way, China will support and create a large number of infrastructure projects, including roads, railways and power plants.

More than 30,000 Pakistanis are working on various corridor projects and the Planning Commission expects 700,000 to 800,000 jobs to be created by 2030.

Despite claims by the Pakistani and Chinese authorities over megaproject authorities to bring about an economic revolution, doubts continue to grow.

“I have my concerns because of the lack of transparency,” Akbar Zaidi told, one of Pakistan’s political economists.

“If it is so fabulous, tell us the terms of investment. Why not be honest about it? I can not say definitively whether CPEC is good, bad or disaster for Pakistan.”

At a conference given by Zaidi in Calcutta earlier this month, CPEC said it looked more like a Chinese project; The benefits are heavily charged to China and Pakistan enjoy because it is “part of the geographical terrain.”

He also expressed concern about the huge loans involved, citing large loans from Sri Lanka and Tajikistan from China. In 2011, Tajikistan had to give 1% of its territory to China in return for outstanding loans.

Sri Lanka will grant 80% of its share of the high seas port of Hambantota in China over the next 99 years in exchange for a debt reduction of $ 1.1 billion.

The environmental impacts are even more marked. Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director and senior member for South Asia with the Asia Program of the Woodrow Wilson Center, offers a “variety of factors ranging from the use of wind energy technologies to contracting or even destruction of farmland.”

He is particularly concerned about the use of coal, environmentally harmful technologies and high water consumption, a prerequisite for development and such an intense building.

Along with the use of dirty fuel, Vaqar Zakaria, general director of environment consultant Hagler Bailly Pakistan, is concerned about the lack of talk about the impacts of hydroelectric power projects on river ecosystems.

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