CPEC: A developed Balochistan means a new Pakistan









Syed Kamal Hussain Shah

The economy of Balochistan is largely based on production of natural gas, coal and other minerals. The port is projected to be the hub of an energy and trade corridor to and from China and the Central Asian republics.
Gwadar's economy has, in the past, been dependent mostly on fishing. It's economy, however, is undergoing rapid transformation as a small fishing village is being transformed into a major port city of Pakistan with improved communication links with rest of Pakistan. In 1993, the Government of Pakistan commenced a feasibility study for the construction of a deep-sea port at Gwadar. On 22 March 2002, the Government of Pakistan began construction of Gwadar Port, a modern deep-sea port, the first phase of which was completed in December 2005 and the second in March 2007. Gwadar Port became fully operational in December 2009.
Development in Balochistan province is indeed development of Pakistan. A developed Balochistan means a new Pakistan.
CPEC connects entire Balochistan with Gwadar, this network of roads, motorways and highways will bring tremendous opportunities for the local populace to be part of the economic uplift of entire Pakistan. This road network is part of Gwadar Port development and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Armed forces of Pakistan have opened schools and technical educations in various parts of Balochistan. A huge number of Baloch youth have been brought to the mainstream through job opportunities.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will open up new avenues of opportunities for the people of Balochistan. With estimated 7.1 billion initial investments through CPEC, Balochistan ranks second in its share from $ 46 billion according to the statistics of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. Balochistan in general, and Gwadar in particular, is the linchpin of CPEC.
One of the world's largest economic corridors between China and Pakistan is set to change the fortune of Pakistanis and especially the province of Balochistan. 1000s KM Motorways are under construction, world class Gwadar Port, infrastructure developments, new hospitals, schools, colleges, universities, banks, and many other developments are being carried out, and the local Baloch people are happy with these developments.
With construction of the western route of CPEC, property value has skyrocketed in these areas where roads have been built. Other cities like Kalat, Quetta and Zhob will also become more vibrant with the completion of planned road network which will give a boost to economic activities and other development projects under CPEC.
The fact of the matter is that, the bulk of the economic and strategic advantages of CPEC are for the province of Balochistan the maximum benefit of which goes to Balochistan.
Deputy Chief of Mission here at Chinese Embassy, Zhao Lijian said that at least 16 projects under CPEC related to Balochistan. These include: Khuzdar-Basima Highway (N 30), D.I. Khan Quetta Highway (N 50), Hubco Coal Power Plant, Gwadar Power Plant, Gwadar Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline, Gwadar Eastbay Expressway, Gwadar New International Airport, Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, Expansion of Multi-purpose Terminal including Breakwater & Dredging Wastewater, Treatment Plants for Gwadar City, Gwadar Primary School, Gwadar Hospital Upgradation, Gwadar Technical & Vocational College, Gwadar Eastbay Expressway II, Fresh Water Supply and Gwadar Free Zone.
The CPEC is a game changer for the entire region. CPEC is a God gifted opportunity for the prosperity and welfare of Pakistan and it will surely be a definite success in the coming years. 

The author is available at Twitter: @shahsabg