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LAHORE: India’s official stance on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) looks to be limited to one point that raises concerns over its route. That’s why India has taken a position on the growing presence of China in Pakistan in form of the CPEC, terming the multibillion dollars project as passing through the disputed territory.

This was stated by French researcher and analyst Fredric Grare while speaking at a session, titled “India Turns East: US-China Rivalry” at the ThinkFest (Afkar-i-Taza) at Alhamra on Saturday.

“A general feeling amid concerns on the CPEC prevails in India. And a similar feeling prevails in Pakistan that states that India is opposing the CPEC,” added Mr Grare.

While responding to other queries, he was of the view Pakistan was required to look at resources to regulate framework that would enable private sector/companies to have a competitive environment in the CPEC projects.

“I do agree the CPEC would generate massive employment for Pakistani people besides other economic benefits to this country. But my question is whether it meets your requirement regarding employment for your population,” he remarked.

He said Pakistan’s foreign policy needs clarity in view of the CPEC’s domestic political dynamics, political stability and its socioeconomic impact on the country. “You also need to have a viable strategy regarding transfer of technology to your companies in various sectors,” he opined.

Mr Grare said the civil unrest in the province of Balochistan was a local issue and not the international one.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Musadik Malik, former special assistant to prime minister for water and power, termed the CPEC as employment intensive, creating jobs for hundreds of thousands for Pakistani youth.

“We are really very calculated on the CPEC as we believe that it would provide jobs to our youth,” he added.

“Pakistan is very clear on the CPEC as both the countries (China and Pakistan) have points of view close to each other’s which are not based on the views of other countries (US, India, Europe),” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2018