Opinion

Baloch Leaders and Activists up the ante against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor!

It seems nothing is going good for China these days. It is already at loggerheads with India on Doklam issue, on the other hand it seems problems have been started to affect its CPEC and OBOR initiative. This time it is from an unexpected territory, Baloch.

Exiled Baloch leaders and activists have planned to gather in Berlin, Germany, on August 11 to intensify their protest against the under construction multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The proposed event which is named as “China’s One Belt One Road Initiative – Its adverse impact on Balochistan & the region” would be organized by the European branch of Baloch National Movement (BNM).

The foreign secretary of the Baloch National Movement, Hammal Haidersaid, “The purpose of the Berlin conference is to engage scholars and intellectuals from around the world to have an open debate on China’s One Belt Road One Road (OBOR) initiative.  There is a growing resentment in Balochistan against CPEC and OBOR.

They are ready to involve other Nations and Civil Society groups to raise a massive movement against this illegal construction of CPEC and OBOR.

What is OBOR?

Chinese Government unfurled its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative in 2013, and during the last four years, it has been working untiringly to make it a reality. It is gaining traction as more and more countries from around the world are joining OBOR. The OBOR is now being renamed as Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to overcome the limitations of the earlier nomenclature, “One belt one road”, because it is expected to involve many roads and many belts.

The initiative is unarguably one of the most costly ever, with a cost of jaw dropping approx. USD four trillion or more, as it is in an ever-expanding mode and more and more countries are joining it in the hope of reaping trade and commercial dividends out of massive infrastructure bring built around Asia, Europe and Africa to facilitate flow of goods and services.

China is aiming to be at the center of a massive economic transformation and wants to develop it as 21st century “Silk Route”, comprising both overland and maritime access routes through installation of new, as well as upgradation of existing transport and communication infrastructure in countries hoping to reap the dividends.

Balochistan which is aresource rich province, has been a disputed territory since the Independence. People here are up and against the Pakistani Government due to its biased policies and extremely harsh treatment to the region. Baloch has started a popular Anti-Pakistani movement for self-determination that is gathering intensity by the day. For the indigenous Baloch people, CPEC is seen as a threat. As CPEC gets implemented in Balochistan, there is a fear of a massive inflow of migrants from different areas of Pakistan which will change the demography of Balochistan and reduce the Baloch people to a permanent minority in their historic homeland.

CPEC is no way an economic project. Pakistan and China together are building a military infrastructure in Baluchistan’s coastal areas. The purpose is to strengthen their military supremacy in the region which we believe will undermine the stability of the region.

On the other hand China is increasing its footprints with each passing day and sensing the ever increasing resistance from Locals Pakistan is raising special security groups and intensifying army operations in Balochistan. There have been reports of death of hundreds of Baloch and thousands have been disappeared.

Pakistan has forced a complete Media black-out so that such information can’t reach out to the World. There is a growing perception that rather than bringing growth and prosperity to people of Balochistan, CPEC has become a call of death for the people in this unfortunate and forgotten corner of the world.


Manish Sharma

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