CHINA-PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC): A SOURCE OF COMPETITION AND COOPERATION IN SOUTH ASIA
(Muhammad Ahsan Jamil)
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a significant project between China and Pakistan mainly for bilateral trade, transit and economic cooperation, which holds immense geo-strategic and geo-economic importance. The corridor has future potential to link China and the landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) with South Asia and further south with Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf. Moreover, Iranian port of Chabahar has potential to provide another pathway for India to access Afghanistan and the CARs from the Persian Gulf via Iran bypassing the territories of Pakistan and China.
CPEC and Indian strategy of Chabahar will have a significant degree of future competition between Pakistan and India in accessing Central Asia and energy security. However, the adoption of the CPEC as a common strategy of the two countries based on mutual trust and cooperation will be highly feasible for economic development and trade for the region as a whole.