Pakistan has been allegedly diverting the funds meant infrastructure projects under CPEC towards local projects. This allegation comes only weeks before China holds its second BRI summit, of which CPEC is a significant component. Earlier, Pakistan was accused of diverting US funds for fighting terrorism towards sponsoring and harbouring terrorists including Osama Bin Laden.
“The government committed theft by spending Rs 2,400 crore out of Rs 2,700 crore meant for BRI on other development projects,” Pakistan’s Opposition leader Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman was quoted as saying by local media.
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It is claimed that the country’s ministry responsible for planning and development issued a directive asking officials to divert Rs 2,400 crore towards projects that aim to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Local legislators have been tasked to identify relevant projects for the same.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a $60 billion flagship of China’s global infrastructure domination project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It’s a network of infra projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.
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Signalling growing tensions between China and Pakistan on CPEC’s prospects, Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan’s government in January decided to drop the plan to construct a major power project under CPEC.
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Also, India has repeatedly raised objections to CPEC, as it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and hence infringed on India’s sovereignty.
Recently a New York Times (NYT) report had noted that Pakistani Air Force and Chinese officials were finalising a proposal to build Chinese military jets, weaponry and other hardware inside Pakistan, as part of CPEC.
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