Pak China Economic Corridor is megaproject that is good to expand and upgrade Pakistani infrastructure. Right now, it is under construction having total budget of $ 46 billion. The Government of Pakistan lend $11 billion from the ‘Exim Bank of China’ to overhaul transportation infrastructure of country. The transportation structure of Pakistan is under heavily subsidized concessionary loans that has 1.6% interest rate.
It was proposed by the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang and Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on May 22, 2013, in Islamabad. This proposal resulted in this corridor’s establishment on August 27, 2013. In 2002, China started the work of construction at the Gwadar port to link it with the West China. The development of port later ceased, after the year of 2007. The main cause was due to some instability in Pakistani politics. Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf resigned in 2008 and there were serious problems between state & militants.
Pak China Economic Corridor
China has also expressed some concerns of security in all the areas, where they have plan to work according to the plan. There are some separatist groups in Xinjiang that may be in the contact with the insurgents of Pakistan. China also demand to strengthen a tight security in the whole work of this project. In the past Tehrik-i-Taliban attacked the Chinese nationals that include their skilled staff and others. There is a risk of kidnapping, if the Pakistani government will provide no security to the workers. To fulfill the requirement, Pakistan have provided around 8,000 security officials for protection of 8,100 Chinese workers.
This project will link Gwadar Port with the Xinjuang region through the network of railways and highways. For this project, a motorway between Lahore and Karachi is also in the plan. According to the plan, the length of the motorway will be 1,100 kilometer. This motorway would be connected with the M2 Motorway that is already connecting the cities of Lahore & Islamabad. Karakoram Highway is between Rawalpindi & Chinese border. In this plan, this highway will also widened and overhauled. The overhauling of railway line between Karachi & Peshawar is also in the plan. After it will be completely overhauled, the train will be able to travel up to 160 km per hour.
The whole project will hopefully complete in December 2019. In this whole project, the railway network of Pakistan will also develop its connection to the ‘Chinese railway’ network in Kashgar.
The transport of ‘liquefied natural gas’ and oil pipelines are also part of this project. For this purpose, a network will be created between Gwadar & Nawabshah for $2.5 billion pipeline. In this process, the gas will be transported from Iran. With the collaboration of Russia, a $2 billion pipeline will link Karachi and Lahore.
To fulfill the need and shortage of energy, energy infrastructure of $30 billion dollars will be constructed by various private firms. This will help to cover the shortage of energy in the country.
To raise the level of Pak-China relations, this economic corridor has a central importance. This project will hopefully improve the intelligence sharing between Pakistan & China. According to report from a reliable source, this project is considered as the biggest investment of China in an overseas country. It is expected to complete in the next 3 years. The project would be a ‘strategic gamechanger’in the whole region and it will gave Pakistan stronger and richer entity in the whole region and world than ever.
Pakistan could turn into a regional economic hub due to this massive plan of investment from the side of China. Government sector and media are also calling this investment as ‘game & fate changer’ of the region. China is not only building a much needed infrastructure but it is also making Pakistan a partner in the grand economic & strategic ambitions.
Pakistan is seriously facing energy shortfalls. The crisis is over 4,500 megawatt, on regular basis. The routine power failure has reached 12 hours/- per day. Energy focus is a major focus of this project and according to the official reports, $30 billion are expected in the investment. Private firms will work in this whole process. China’s Zonergy has plan to construct the world’s largest plant of solar power. The Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park that is situated in 6,500 acre in Bahawalpur will provide 900 megawatt electricity till the end of 2016. Other plants of private firms like Jhimpir Wind Power Plant (built by Turkish Company), United Energy Pakistan, SK Hydro Consortium and many other are also part of this economic corridor.
This project will help China to find an open and direct trade route towards the Middle East region. Right now, they are using longer routes through ‘Strait of Malacca’ to reach rich Middle East countries. After the completion of project, they will be able to use this way through Arabian Sea.