China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Impact on Development of Balochistan

2017-05-09, by Arshmah Jamil, from Pakistan-China Institute

Although, geographically Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan, demographically it is the smallest and the most under developed federating unit. Careful examination of the lack of progress in Balochistan reveals a worrying situation, which needs to be given the highest precedence by the government. The locals of Balochistan have had numerous reservations, which over the time have developed into anti-nationalistic feelings and a cause of concern for the federation. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be a game changer for Pakistan as a whole and also for Balochistan in particular, as it will usher in a new era of socioeconomic development. This study will examine how this landmark initiative can lead to the economic and social development of Balochistan.

Executive Summary:

The Baloch region is one of the oldest settlements of the world as supported by historical and archaeological evidence. If the geographical location is assessed, Baluchistan shares 475 miles with Iran to its west, 625 miles with Afghanistan to its northwest and spreads across 562 miles along the Persian Gulf’s Makran Coast. Its location allows it to explore various potential trading routes to the rest of the world, encompassing the Middle East, Iran, Afghanistan, China, India and the Central Asian Republics.

Although geographically Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan, demographically it is the smallest and the most under developed federating unit. Careful examination of the lack of progress in Balochistan reveals a worrying situation, which needs to be given the highest precedence by the government. The locals of Balochistan have had numerous reservations, which over the time have developed into anti-nationalistic feelings and a cause of concern for the federation. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will be a game changer for Pakistan as a whole and also for Balochistan in particular, as it will usher in a new era of socioeconomic development. This study will examine how this landmark initiative can lead to the economic and social development of Balochistan.

This study examines the present situation of Balochistan and analyzes why the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is crucial to its development. It unearthes the objectives of the Corridor and its impact on the country’s economic and social development. Furthermore, the challenges associated with the project will be examined and the necessary steps that must be undertaken to tackle them will be evaluated. In addition, the study will raise awareness about the benefits of, and highlight the positive outlook towards, the project.

Arshmah Jamil, is an M.Phil. International Relations scholar at National Defense University Islamabad. Her research interests are security, development and strategy with a special focus on South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

This paper has been granted authorization to use and reproduce by Pakistan-China Institute. For academic purposes only.

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