China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will have positive impact on region: Seminar

Dr Shahid Qureshi, senior British writer and political analyst at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) a British Armed Forces Think Tank in London. 8 June 2018

(By Special Correspondent – London)

“If USA solve its internal domestic problems most of the international issues would be automatically resolved. US dependence on military industrial complexes is the root cause of wars abroad and war profiteering strategy in past 100 years”, said Dr Shahid Qureshi, director (LISA) London Institute of South Asia at RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) a British Armed Forces Think Tank joint seminar on “CPEC: Changing Geopolitical and Geo-economic dynamics in South Asia and beyond”, in London. He was responding to a comment about security situation in Afghanistan and existence of many players in the region.

Dr Qureshi said: ‘according to Al-Jazeera before the creation US African Command or Afcom, there were two terrorist groups but now they are over 50’.
“On the other hand, Chinese policy of non-interference in the local affairs of the countries where projects are based is more focused on development”, said Dr Qureshi in response to the comment that China may become East India Company (an Imperial Arm of British in 17th Century).

Dr Shahid Qureshi said: “I asked the Indian High Commissioner H.E. Renendra Sen at London School of Economic (LSE) Seminar, ‘how can India play role at international stage as India has problems and wars with all its neighbors’, three wars with Pakistan, a war with China, border dispute with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The only friend you have is Mauritius. The Indian High commissioner however replied, ‘It is not a fair question’.

Dr Qureshi said in response to a question about Iranian role in the CPEC: ‘Iranian Foreign Minister (Javed Zarif) in a recent visit to Pakistan said: Iranian Port Chabhar and Gawadar Port in Pakistan are not competitors and road must be built to connect them’.

‘China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flag ship of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, Central Asian Republic, and the region and beyond.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the flagship of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that could enable the possibility of a 21st Century Maritime Silk Route. It carries the vision of opening-up of and cooperation amongst nations. The ultimate objective is peace, prosperity and wellbeing of the people of the two countries, the region and the world.

Themes covered in the seminar were: –
• Strategic effects on security situation in South Asian region.
• Potential and prospects for economic development and integration.
• Analyse the strategic and tactical impediments to development of CPEC, challenges and solution.
• How does UK view CPEC? Identify areas of convergence and mutual interest.
• To what extent the CPEC could be instrumental in regional cooperation to end extremism/ terrorism and to alleviate poverty?

International speakers were including Mr. Hasan Daud Butt (Project Director CPEC. Planning Commission, Government of Pakistan), Raffaello Pantucci (Director International Security Studies RUSI), Julian Hamilton (Chairman Pakistan Britain Business Council), Saeed Ismat, Chairman LISA.

H.E. Syed Ibn Abbas High Commissioner of Pakistan to United Kingdom also spoke at the seminar. Senior military and civil diplomats from Chinese embassy in London also took part in the discussion at the seminar.