CPEC is being projected in the country as if it has no dark side and anyone who questions its worth is made out to be unpatriotic. It is a fact that CPEC has been launched without a feasibility study debate in parliament which means that the future of the nation has been decided without much deliberation. While one hopes that CPEC proves to be a great blessing for the nation, discussions in the media have created fears among the public.
One, China invested $1.2 trillion in the US at an interest rate of 1.9 percent whereas our rulers have accepted loans from China at an interest of about 12 percent. Two, Sweden has offered solar power to India at Rs5.6 per KWH whereas China will provide that to us at Rs14 per KWH. Three, China is closing down coal-fired power plants due to pollution but according to some critics, we are installing old Chinese coal-fired plant units. Moreover, the projects assigned to China are based on a single-tender basis which means that there is no price competition. The Gwader-Khunjerab corridor – China’s requirement for CPEC – will be an added responsibility for Pakistan and the cost of ensuring its safety may be high for the country. Furthermore, if Pakistan is unable to pay back the loans it has taken, foreign relations may sour. One hopes these fears are addressed soon.
M Akram Niazi