On Monday, June 1st, Islamabad Institute of Conflict Resolution (IICR) organized a closed webinar titled as “CPEC at the new Cross Roads”. The webinar was part of IICR exclusive initiative Globe 2020, which is aimed at exploring the upcoming major challenges to the Globe. The first Chapter was organized in collaboration with Power China and Sichuan University’s Pakistan Study Center.
The diverse panel included experienced professionals who enlightened with their expertise. Panellists included Prof. Dr. Song Zhihui Director, Pakistan Study Center, Sichuan University, Dr. Xiu Guangmin vice director of the Pakistan Study Center in Sichuan University, Mr. Ling Jianke is Executive Representative of Power China Pakistan Branch, Senior Engineer, from Pakistan side panelists include Prof. Dr. Rifaat Hussain Analyst, Professor Department of Government Policy and Public Administration at NUST, Maj. Gen. Raza Muhammad®, Chairman IICR, and Ms. Sabah Aslam, the Founder and Executive Director of IICR.
Chairman IICR, Maj. Gen. Raza Muhammad ® moderated the session.
Dr Xiu highlighted the significance of extremism as a hindrance in the growth of CPEC. He pointed out that Pakistan’s government was unable to impose a strict lock-down causing the downturn in recovery. He also pointed out that the government of Pakistan is, at present, not taking enough measures to promote CPEC at the front. Moreover, he shared his concerns over lock-down.
Mr Ling shared his experience about how CPEC is progressing during Covid-19. He expressed that Pak-China Cooperation will continue to grow during and after Covid-19. He also stated that the scope of CPEC should be enlarged to include more sectors in it.
Prof. Dr. Song emphasized the role of think-tanks and research units to curtail the negative propaganda often orchestrated by western media. He believed that reality-based research and discourse shall be produced and dispersed by such intellectual realms to smoothen the flow of CPEC during Covid-19.
Ms. Sabah shed light on Security Challenges to CPEC & Balochistan. She emphasized that rather than defying any security challenges, both countries need to accept the severe security threats to CPEC and shall overcome this hindrance through cooperation.
Prof. Dr. Rifaat enlightened us about the Afghan factor in CPEC. “There should not be any doubt that the solution to Afghanistan is only through dialogue”, Dr Rifaat said. He also highlighted that the withdrawal will cause a vacuum which needed to be filled through international consensus. While talking on Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, he added that the trio shall consider creating a cooperative security framework which can help in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan.
At the end Chairman IICR, Maj. Gen. Raza Muhammad® concluded the session with the hope that Paki-China cooperation and CPEC will prosper no matter what hindrance it faces.