Islamabad: – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had passed a verdict that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the future of Pakistan. But the project has gone cold and the future of Pakistan also seems to hang in the balance with it. As per reports, the Chinese government has stopped the funding of these projects. Western analysts are claiming that this is a Chinese ploy to hold Pakistan at ransom. Whereas, the western newspapers are claiming that this project will prove to be a trillion-dollar blunder for Pakistan.
China has refused to provide funding for the $64 billion CPEC projects, any further. It is mandatory for Pakistan, to upgrade the Karachi-Peshawar railway line, along with modernisation of the railway to provide an impetus to the project. Imran Khan had claimed that modernisation of the railway line would generate 150,000 jobs in Pakistan. At the same time, the Pakistan government had expressed confidence that freight movement between Karachi and Peshawar will also improve. The work on this project needed to be started in January next year.
China had agreed to provide a loan to Pakistan, for the execution of this project. The agreement said that China would be providing $7 billion to Pakistan at an interest rate of 1% per annum. The Pakistani media and journalists are reporting that China has backed out from the commitment. China has flatly refused to fund the project at an interest rate of 1%. China has put a condition to increase the interest rate for this loan. China will bear 90% of the project cost. Therefore, it is claimed that the increase in the interest rate will have a direct effect on the Pakistan economy.
China has also put a condition that companies from countries other than China, cannot participate in the project. Therefore, there is criticism in subtle tones, in the Pakistan media, claiming that the Jinping regime has held Pakistan, entirely dependent on Chinese funding, at ransom. Whereas, the western analysts have claimed that China has played this tactic to make Pakistan bow. Whereas, the Pakistani journalists are expressing concerns that the project will have to be shelved if China refuses to fund the project. The Pakistan population was shown the dreams that Pakistan will prosper because of the CPEC project. But now the analysts and journalists from the country are confessing that there is no hope for Pakistan as the project itself is under threat. The concerns for the military also have increased as it has been exposed that the military top brass is involved in corruption, related to the CPEC project.