Is Pakistan a beautiful country? What are some main attractions of Pakistan?
Yes, It is a very beautiful country. The landscape of Pakistan is really diverse. It ranges from lofty mountains in the north, the Karakorum and the Himalayas through dissected plateaus to rich alluvial plains of Punjab. Then follows the bareness of Baluchistan and the hot dry deserts of Sindh blending into miles and miles of beaches on the Makran Coast.
The Beautiful Side Of Pakistan | An Album Of 27 Photos.
2: Ratti Gali Lake
3: Mesa in the Sulaiman Range
5: Attabad Lake
6: Shounter Lake
7: Spin Khwar Waterfall
8: Miri Volcano
9: Makran Coastal Highway
10: One Of The Naltar Lake
12: Matiltaan, Kalam Valley
13: Bashkar Gol Lake
14: Frozen Shandur Lake
15: Chitta Katha Lake
16: Dudipatsar Lake
17: Pakistan Monument
19: Wazir Khan Mosque
20: Glacial Lake At Concordia
21: Shandur Lake
22: Trango Towers
23: Phandar Valley
24: Faisal Mosque
25: Badshahi Mosque
26: Faisal Mosque
27: Spantik Summit Ridge
Why Kalabagh Dam was Never Made? | Part 2
Why are these provinces against Kalabagh Dam? *The Secret Behind The Curtain* . For last 12 years, Pakistan has faced severe short fall of electricity and whatever electricity. We do have, it is ridiculously high-priced. Most expensive in the South Asian region. On the other hand, the situation is that floods come every 2-3 years. Hundreds of millions of rupees are wasted, people die, families get destroyed. The solution for both floods and electricity shortfall, is dams!. In fact, dams have another plus point which is that when we don’t have enough dams, we produce electricity through petroleum and petroleum we have to import. And wealth flies out of the country. The country gets buried with deficit. Had Kalabagh Dam been made, it would be producing 3600 megawatts of power which would cost around Rs. 1.5/- per unit. Today, we’re producing this electricity through diesel At Rs. 11/- to Rs. 15/- per unitAnd, it destroys the environment as well. If these dams are in everyone’s favor, why are these provinces against it?
* Spilling The Secrets *
When a project hangs in the balance for as long as this project has the realities come out. Print media has published all the secrets. That who is against it, and why KPK’s areas come under danger only if. If the dam’s height is kept very high because then the river water will rise greatly. But obviously, the experts have not designed to dam to drown half of KPK. The real problem is that the lake of this dam will be in KPK But the dam would be made in Punjab. What this means is that Punjab will get royalty of the electricity while KPK will have to sacrifice its land. Sindh’s argument is a little different. Back in 1988, when the design of this dam was completed Sindh feared that Punjab might take away a lot of water through canals. If Punjab takes all the water, Sindh will die out of thirst. In 1991, all four provinces signed a pact and resolved this issue once and for all. That which province will get how much water. This pact is available on the Indus River System Authority’s website. It clearly states how much water can each province take. Any provinces can make new canals, or terminate the old ones. Build new dams or decomission old ones. Water-share will not change. No province can take more than their quota. Even though, Kalabagh Dam’s design doesn’t contain any canals whats oever. But even if a canal is added, Punjab’s share wouldn’t increase. It just cannot happen that Punjab takes away Sindh’s water, KPK takes away Punjab’s water or Gilgit Baltistan takes away KPK’s water. This is not some street cricket where the one who has a bat gets to play first. On KPK’s reservation, there is a simple solution. We should give Punjab’s area where the dam (not the lake) is supposed to be built to KPK then the royalty of dam’s electricity will also go to KPK. But, Pakistanis are always late in coming up with solutions. The problem is that now this issue is being used by the politicians who believe in ‘Divide and Rule!’. Now, it is near impossible that this dam will ever be made. No government will have the audacity to build this dam on the cost of enraging two provinces. But now, our responsibility is that dams that are actually building such as Diamir Bhasha dam and Dasu Dam etc. we shouldn’t make these dams controversial.
We should believe in the experts and complete the projects quickly. We should be Pakistanis first, Sindhi, Balochi, Pathans and Punjabi second. Produce low-cost energy Boost Pakistan’s economy.
Why Kalabagh Dam was Never Made? | Part 1
In Punjab, people have a strange sense of humor. You see very unique kinds of signs in the markets. During winters, I saw sign in a shop that said: Customers with cold hands should only ‘Salam’ with their mouths (no handshake!). Another very common sign in the markets is: No credit-buying (udhaar) until Kalabagh Dam is made.
What is this Kalabagh Dam issue?Kalabagh is located in the north-west end of Punjab. Where Punjab meets KPK. This area is famous across Pakistan for its Iron Ore reserves, Nawab of Kalabagh, and the dangerous bridge. It used to be a wooden bridge, but a road has been built on it and it’s not that dangerous anymore. But, Kalabagh’s most famous thing is a dam that was never made. Even though Tarbela Dam and Kalabagh Dam were scheduled to be made together but, back then, WAPDA officials and Government ministers believed that that Tarbela Dam alone is enough for next 50 years. And Kalabagh will generate even more electricity than Tarbela Dam so what’s the point of producing so much electricity?
Where would keep so much power?How right-minded they were… weren’t they?. If check out this area on Google Maps we realize that Indus has a huge amount of water here. Second thing we notice is that the mountains are naturally creating a dam. Mountains surround three sides already
Build a wall on one side, and your dam is ready. The design for this dam was complete in 1988. But, back then, our political leadership was so busy in leg-pulling each other that nobody paid attention to the country. And, with the passage of time, the very project of this dam was washed down. What happened is that KPK and Sindh provinces developed reservations against this dam. KPK’s leaders claim that if this dam is made it will drown Nowshera, a city in KPK, 200 KM away. They claim that Nowshera is only a little above the level of river water and, if the dam is made, then water in the Indus will rise and drown the city. Jamaat-e-Islami of KPK goes as far as claiming that this dam will drown Mardan, Peshawar and Swabi as well. Experts say that there’s zero chance of any city drowning because to this dam. On the other hand, Sindh province claims that if this dam is made yhe delta areas, where Indus meets Arabian Sea, Sea-waters will come up the stream and salinize the whole area. Which means, that the sweet (drinking) water of Indus keeps the sea-water pushed back. If the amount of water reduces, then the salty sea-water will rise up and leave the whole area salinize. If we look at this area on Google Maps, we realize that there aren’t any crops being produced anyway. The point of salinization shouldn’t rise because the land isn’t being used anyway. So, what’s the real problem?
There’s Statue of Liberty in the U.S. And in Pakistan, Minar-e-Pakistan.
In all big cities, there’s always something that becomes the identity of that city. In Sydney, there’s The Opera House. In London, there’s Tower Bridge. And Lahore’s monument is Minar-e-Pakistan. Whenever tourists come to Lahore they never leave without visiting it. We have read poems about it in syllabus books. It is a memorial of Tehreek-e-Pakistan (The Pakistan Movement). It is a symbol of “Pakistaniyat”. But why?
There are lots of must-visit places in Lahore. From Pakistan’s biggest shopping mall to Pakistan’s greatest fort, From delicious food to literary tea houses Lahore has everything!. But the status that Minar-e-Pakistan enjoys nothing else does!. But why?
The biggest reason is that this minaret is situated exactly where the Quaid (Muhammad Ali Jinnah) stood addressing the crowd on 23rd March 1940 and demanded an independent Pakistan from the British government. Back then, obviously, there wasn’t a minaret here, It was only a big public park. Where political gatherings also took place. And, it was called Minto Park. It was renamed Iqbal Park after Pakistan’s creation. But it has become “Greater” Iqbal Park now.
On the 20-year anniversary of 1940 Lahore Resolution the foundation of this minaret was laid. It took almost eight-and-a-half years in the construction of this 228 feet tall minaret. But it only costed 7 million rupees. It’s obvious, there wasn’t any corruption back then. The story behind revenue collection for the construction of this minaret, is also intriguing. The revenue was collected by placing extra taxes on cinema tickets and HORSE RACES!YES!. The minaret where ALLAH’s names and Quranic verses are written was built with horce-racing money. This minaret is standing on four platforms. First platform is made with rough-cut stone brought from Taxila. It is a symbol of the times when the South Asian Muslims were being suppressed by the British Raaj. The smooth stone of the second platform indicates that the Muslims had started to find inspirational leadership. The third glazed-stone platform symbolizes the Pakistan Movement. And the fourth platform, which is made with white marble symbolizes the creation of Pakistan. Initially, this monument was going to be named Yaadgaar-e-Pakistan (memorial of Pakistan). Then people said memorials can only be made of objects that are no more. So how can it be memorial of Pakistan. Then they decided to name it: Yaadgaar-e-Qaraardaad-e-Pakistan (Memorial of the Pakistan Resolution).
Then they thought such a long name isn’t a good idea. Then finally, it was called Minar-e-Pakistan (minaret of Pakistan). Quite near to the minaret, in the Iqbal Park the mausoleum of Hafeez Jalandhari is situated (the author of Pakistan’s National anthem). Whenever people who love Pakistan come to Iqbal Park they never forget to pay a visit to this mausoleum. An odd thing is that (Allama) Iqbal’s mausoleum is not in Iqbal Park. That is situated across the road, in the shadow of Badshahi Masjid (Royal Mosque).
Oh, I forgot about Greater Iqbal Park So, what happened is that after the creation of Pakistan Minar-e-Pakistan became a symbol of a resolve. And, in its shadow, large-scale political jalsas (conventions) started being organized. (Zulfikar Ali) Bhutto has also conducted mighty jalsas here. The last of such big jalsas was Imran Khan’s jalsa of 30 October (2011) after which, PTI (Imran Khan’s political party) rose as a prominent political force. When things were heating up in the political landscape (Then) PM Nawaz Sharif developed this park through a big project. Models of many important places of Lahore were made Food court was designed and Pakistan’s first dancing fountain was also installed here and, most importantly, he put a blanket ban on all political activities in the park. Now, no political activities take place here. Coming back to the point, you must visit this place whenever you come to Lahore.
The Financial Action Taken Force’s (FATF) decision to put Pakistan on its grey list will not only make it difficult for Islamabad to attract foreign investments, but may also invite punitive action by the European Union as the bloc might put the country on its own blacklist.
Pakistan, following the FATF decision last month, entered into a phase where it has to not only submit an action plan against controlling terror fund at the body’s next plenary in Paris end-June but also give a political undertaking that it would implement the steps, officialshere told ET. If Islamabad fails to comply with the rules of the grey list and an action plan is not adopted, then the country runs the risk of being included on to the blacklist of the FATF that currently features Iran and North
At the same time, South Asia’s second biggest country runs the risk also of being put onblacklist by the EU. Such a decision by its top trading partner could severely hit that country’s industry, especially the lucrative textile sector, as well as banking channe is with Europe, India’s foreign ministry officials familiar with the subject said. The motion to put Pak on the grey list was jointly moved by the US and three key powers of Europe the UK, France and Germany. Pakistan had earlier been pulled up by members of EU Parliament for its failure to control terrorism emanating from its soil. The issue of crossborder terror will figure prominently when French President meets the Indian PM here on March 10. The EU is Pakistan’s most important trading partner, European Commission figures show. This puts the EU in a strong negotiating position.
According to Indian officials, FATF’s decision to put Pakistan on the grey list came after much deliberations. The February 18-23 plenaryin Paris witnessed hectic negotiations from day one till the final day as India, supported by its partners, put forward strong arguments against Pakistan’s lacklustre efforts to control financing of terror groups. Last ditch efforts by Islamabad, including action against Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed, did not yield results as even China and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) finally agreed to counterviews, the officials said.
Real politics came into play on the morning of February 23, with Beijing refusing to support Islamabad.
CPEC City Gwadar – Do You Know the AMAZING FACTS?
Do you know that Pakistan bought Gwadar. You already know the history of Pakistan. That the British used to rule here then we got independence.
And that’s how Pakistan was made. But, even after the independence Gwadar didn’t become a part of Pakistan nor did it become India’s part. In fact, it wasn’t even a part of the British Raaj. Seems odd, doesn’t it? So let’s check out its details. This center-piece of CPEC. Which is gathering attention from the world over. What is its story?There has always been a settlement in Gwadar area in 300 B.C. Alexander (aka Alexander the Great) ruled this area, Alexander died.
After about 900 years, Muslims conquered this land. Time kept on moving. And Baloch tribal leaders (Sardars) made fortresses and formed their own small governments. Almost 600 years ago, when European nations started colonization, The Portugese set focus on South Asia as well. They invaded, even captured many areas of the
Indian Subcontinent. But when they tried to sieze Gwadar, Baloch fighters kicked the Portugese out
(Band baja di).
After this, until 1783, neither the Portugese dared to attack Gwadar nor did anyone else. But Gwadar’s history takes a big turn in 1783. What happened is that there’s a country across Gwadar’s beach called Oman. That country’s Sultan (king) got attacked by his own brother and captured the whole kingdom. It works like this among king brothers (royal families) Oman’s Sultan escaped the siege and came to Gwadar. The name of this fleed king was Taimur Sultan. Back then, Khan of Kalat used to rule Gwadar. The legendary Khan’s name was Mir Noori Naseer Khan. Khan gave Gwadar region to the Sultan. So that the Sultan can launch resistance against his brother. This policy worked.
The sultan reclaimed Oman. But, did not leave Gwadar. No Sultan ever leaves a territory, even a gifted one. When Sultan regained the whole Kingdom, He also established a military cantonment in Gwadar. And built the Gwadar Fort. In 1793, Khan of Kalat said to Sultan that brother, I homed you on this land as a guest, You have seized the area. You were a guest, not the owner. The Sultan gave the very answer. That all sultans give on such occasions, Beat it. Time kept on passing. Mughal went away, the British arrived. But Omani rule continued on Gwadar. Gwadar was so far-flung. That the British did not try to capture it. Rather made a pact with Omani government. And set up some establishments there (telegraph, watch tower etc.). More time passed Pakistan was made.
But Gwadar remained a part of Oman. Not Pakista. It did not become a part of Pakistan
But Pakistan wanted it to be so. Because Pakistan understood that There’s huge potential of a big port city in the Arabian Sea and Gwadar is best placed for becoming that port city.
Eventually, Dubai became that port city. But, we’ll talk Dubai on some other time. So, Pakistan wanted Gwadar to become a part of the country. So Pakistan started making assessments. Whether Gwadar can become a deep sea port or not, Whether huge-sized ships can port here or not. Or, is the sea not deep enough. Back then, Pakistan had great relations with the US. Which are terrible at the moment. So, Pakistan asked the US to survey the Gwadar area. US Geological Survey studied the area and told Pakistan that Gwadar is a goldmine, Grab it!. This happened in 1954. 7 years after Pakistan was created. Then Pakistan started talks with Oman. After long negotiations, a deal was made. And, for 5.5 billion Pakistani rupees, Oman sold “Ghuwadar” to Pakistan. Omanis called it Ghuwadar. They still call it Ghuwadar. They cannot pronounce the hard G sound.They pronounce girl as “Ghirl” and google as “Ghooghle”. So, in 1958, 11 years after the independence. Gwadar became a part of Pakistan. Back then, Pakistan had big dreams for Gwadar. Back then, nobody knew about Dubai. Pakistan wanted Gwadar to be What Dubai is today. Back then, Pakistan was aiming to be what Germany or Japan are today. PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) was ranked as world’s second best Princes and princesses of Indonesia and Malaysia studied in Pakistani colleges. GC Lahore wanted to be ranked alongside Cambridge And, maybe it shocks you, That Pakistan gave a loan of 120 million rupees to West Germany in 1963. Germany was devastated after the second WW. And, to rebuild Germany, they took loans from rich countries of the world. One of those rich countries was Pakistan. Pakistan has seen pretty good days. Today, we’re dreaming to bring back those days. While everything else is happening. Pakistan is also re-awakening the Gwadar dream. It finally seems that Gwadar’s good days have arrived. Because CPEC is building. But, more on CPEC later. I forgot a very important point. What in the world does Gwadar mean. There are two etymologies. First is that when Alexander (the Great) used to rule here. Almost 2500 years ago The Greeks called this land Gedrosia. So “Gwadar” is basically a just distorted “Gedrosia”. Second etymology is that In Balochi language, “Gwat” means “Air” And “Dar” means “Door”. So, the applied meaning is “The Gateway of the Wind” I consider the second etymology to be true. And, it also sounds nice. Because, this hammer-shaped city extends into deep seas And “The Gateway of the Wind” suits this place. Don’t you think so? I wanted to talk in detail about CPEC, Because CPEC and Gwadar go hand-in-hand, Where China is coming with over 60 billion dollars. Turkey and other friendly countries have spiked this project to 100+ billion US dollars. All phases of CPEC are scheduled to complete in 2032. But early harvest projects are expected to become fruitful by 2021. So, where does CPEC stand now?.
Which projects have started working? And, which motorways and railroads are being constructed?. We will discuss all this in our CPEC series.
A few days ago, we wrote an article about Gwadar, the capital of CPEC.
In the comments section, Some said it (CPEC) will be a fate-changer for Pakistan. And some said it will bury Pakistan. One thing became crystal-clear after watching all these comments that within Pakistan and around Pakistan rumors are many but facts are few. And perhaps that’s why our friends demanded us that we immediately start CPEC series. So that, myth and fact can be differentiated. So, your wish is my command* Chinese chanting Pakistan Zindabad! *Let’s begin with China. China is investing 60 billion USD on this project (CPEC). Which is a mighty figure as we all know that in current Pakistani conditions investors consider many times before investing in Pakistan. But then why is China investing such a huge sum?”
O Lord, What is This Mystery?”
(a famous verse by Ghalib)
CPEC is basicallly China’s need. In past few years, China has developed magnificently. Tall buildings were made Cities got amazing makeovers. There are so many lights in Shanghai. That it becomes difficult to differentiate Between days and nights. But the focus of most of this development has been in the eastern part of China. If we see China’s photograph taken from space we can see that all these lights are in the eastern side of China. And it is absolutely clear that in the western region, where population density is low, Development is at its lowest. Now, you understand this well When one region gets all the development and one doesn’t. People of the latter areas get heartbroken? Quite like Balochistan in Pakistan. It’s quite similar in Western China. So, a few years ago, China’s establishment decided that From now on, all the focus of development will be in the Western China. But the question was that if giant factories start producing in the western parts of the country where would they sell their products? If those goods need to be transferred to Shanghai or Hong Kong first, It will become too costly. For developing Western China, It was essential to find new markets and new paths (to reach those markets) Six new such paths are being paved as we speak. The most important of which is CPEC .
These are basically six different corridors. This is a himalayan-scale communication network comprising roads, rails, and airports. Which incorporates many industrial projects as well.
Collectively, this project is called OBOB or One Belt One Road. Some of these paths/corridors go northward from China. And reach Europe via Russia. Another corridors reaches Europe through Iran and Turkey. Two corridors are being developed in the east of India. That connect China to Laos, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Thailand etc. But the most important corridor is CPEC.
Which, first connects China to Pakistan And then, from Pakistan to Dubai And the whole Arab world, And then, (it connects China) to the emerging African market. While the Arabs in the gulf have crazy money. Some African countries are also developing rapidly. For instance, Ethiopia’s GDP growth rate is 8%. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
China wants to sell its products in the rising African economies. But the problem is that ships take at least two weeks to reach Africa from China. But, if the same goods be sent from China to Gwadar, and from Gwadar to AfricaIt can reach destination within 2-3 days. Besides, China does not want to depend solely on maritime trade. Because Americans rule the blue waters. American aircraft carriers roam around Chinese seas all the time. And, US has huge army installations in China’s neighborhood.
If China depends on the maritime trade only, It will have to rely on US’s good will for keeping trade going. And China will never let that happen!. And this is where we get our answer.
Why is China making this investment in Pakistan.
But another question arises. What benefits will Pakistan reap from CPEC? As China’s western parts are under-developed, Similarly, some Pakistani areas have also been left behind. Especially Balochistan and FATA. It is pivotal for to develop these areas on full-throttle. This is the reason that when China shared the idea of CPEC with Pakistan. The Pakistanis felt that their prayers have been answered.
Pakistan needs to develop industry in the under-developed regions. And the easiest way to do that is CPEC. A network of roads, motorways, railroads and airports etc should be laid. And along these motorways, industrial zones should be developed. And investment should be brought from Turkey and other friendly countries. And an economic revolution should be ignited in the countryIt all sounds brilliant, but it’s not all that simple. There are many question marks, for instance. Who will be most unhappy with Pakistan. Or, how sincere is China with Pakistan? How much debt-load will the Pakistanis take? And, obviously, we also have to check that Which CPEC projects have been completed or near completion. It will take time to answer all these questions.
Some say that the loans on CPEC are unbearable. While others say that CPEC is a goldmine. Actually they’re both right 🙂
Long Live Pak-China Friendship!
Today, I come with the most important article about CPEC. So please read until the end Otherwise, you can miss an important piece of the story. In the last post we looked over China’s intentions. Why is China making stakes of 50-60 billion USD in Pakistan. What is China thinking?What benefits is China seeking? And, how big of a risk is China taking? And, what’s America’s role in this whole scenario? And, how is Pakistan becoming a big player in this (great) game? Now, let’s move on Since 2013, when CPEC became famous in Pakistan, Pakistan Government is giving it names such as Game-Changer and Fate-Changer And, the government is showing as if they’ve conquered Rome. Every other day, there’s a CPEC seminar taking place Some big statements are being issued Something CPEC related just keeps happening. But the problem is that everyone knows the term CPEC But, accurate information about CPEC is scarce. Politicians don’t properly give answers, Neither in talk shows, nor anywhere else. For our this CPEC series, we contacted everywhere The Planning Commission Knocked at the door of Ministry of Planning and Reforms Emailed, texted and sent messages on social media to all the members of Parliamentary Committee on CPEC But no one responded Neither from the Government, nor from the opposition. These very habits of our politicians give fuel to the fire and help the false rumors spread. They have not learned to speak the truth While lies get caught in today’s age. So they have decided to stay silent.
Anyhow, even if the Government and politicians refuse speak that doesn’t mean we won’t find any information. Print media has published detailed accounts on every aspect of CPEC. So, we put on our reading glasses. We had to do a lot of digging because
no one openly speaks out these facts. But, after a lot of reading, when eyes became groggy CPEC’s image kept getting clearer. Even though CPEC is exceeding the budget of $60 billion But at the core, it is a 46 billion US Dollars project. So, the question is that if only a road was required to connect Khunjrab to Gwadar It doesn’t require 46 billion Dollars it would require no more than 1-2 billion Dollars. Besides, Pakistan already has very decent road network. Many experts believe that this is the best road network in the region. So, where are these 46 billion Dollars going to be spent? 34 US Dollars are dedicated for energy projects. Almost all of the false rumors spreading around about CPEC, are because of these power projects. Most of these projects are called Early Harvest Projects (EHP) Which means that these projects will be completed in the first phase of CPEC. Many of these projects have already started working While others will start working by the end of 2018. These projects are causing all the friction.
Some time ago, a report was published that said Pakistan will have to pay 7 – 8 percent interest on these projects. This report is 100% true and we shall have to pay this interest. Those people, who don’t like Pakistan or China, are saying that the whole of CPEC is a loan and the weight of these loans so big that poor Pakistan can never bear it and that China has actually invaded Pakistan economically Because, if you take a loan from someone and you’re unable to pay it back then the lender comes and seizes your property. China will do the same. But, it is not that simple. Actually, it’s a little complicated.
Complications start from the energy crisis. When China was proposing CPEC to Pakistan, Pakistan had a severe short fall of electricity. There wasn’t any point of building CPEC, If there wasn’t any electricity Pakistanis knew this problem very well. But, how do you produce so much electricity. If you want to quickly complete power projects You will have to rely on fossil fuels. Hence, many coal and LPG based power plants became a part of CPEC. And work started on them at rocket-speed. Work was done at such pace that Sahiwal Power Plant, that produces 1300 MW electricity was completed six months earlier than its completion date, and started working. But, interest on such power-plants is quite high Because this is almost an outdated technology and its running cost is quite high. The electricity produced through it costs a lot About Rs. 11/- to Rs. 15/- per unit. So, as soon as hydel power projects get completed Pakistan will stop using these power plants. And that’s why, the investors have to get their returns within 5 to 10 years. That’s the reason behind high interest rates but it doesn’t mean that all power projects require loans. There’s a hydel power project of 720 MW is building up in Karot That will produce cost-effective energy at about Re. 1/- per unit the cost of this project is around 1.5 billion dollars, but forget interest rates, this isn’t even a loan China is making Foreign Direct Investment on this dam. This is a long-term project That is the reason China did not think about putting this project on loan. They directly invested CPEC includes other projects as well such as roads, up-gradation of railway tracks from Peshawar to Karachi. And, a digital corridor is also being set up That will send to big fiber-optic links from China to Pakistan. That will make the internet blazing fast in Pakistan. The interest rates on such long-term projects is either very low, or they come under FDI And, China is making a lot of direct investment in CPEC. Almost all of the work being done in Gwadar is direct investment. Deep sea port has started functioning, free zone is developing Gwadar International Airport is built.
It is all direct investment There’s one though, China will take 91% profit on Gwadar port Pakistan will only get 9% But we have to realize that China is making huge investments in Gwadar Those investments will create so many jobs, Balochistan will develop rapidly. Pakistan’s exports will rise and tourists will come in Pakistan. All these factors should be taken into account Even if we get only 9% profits, we don’t have anything to lose. Pakistan doesn’t have enough resources to turn Gwadar into Singapore. So, if China is making an offer, there’s no point rejecting it. So, in clear-cut language, CPEC gives a lot of benefits. Jobs will be created, tourists will come and industries will grow. IT sector can grow at miraculous pace. Another submarine cable link is also connecting Gwadar And the Pak-China digital corridor is also being set up. And of course, roads and motorways are also being built. A rail will pass through the Karakorams which is just might be world’s most stunning rail-ride. But, in the coming years, the cost of electricity will stay high in Pakistan. Because we have taken high-interest loans for power projects. The big long electricity bills – as they come every month – will keep on coming. But CPEC shouldn’t be blamed for this. The governments of 1980s and 1990s should be blamed for this high cost of electricity who did not start any dams.
People of Gilgit Baltistan are highly educated, peace-loving and intelligent.
But these days, they’re slightly angry. A few days ago, there were protests in the streets and roads and rumor-mongering was taking place outside Pakistan, What’s happening?. Outside Pakistan, there are some news sources who claim that all of Gilgit Baltistan despise Pakistan. And, that Pakistan Army keeps beating up innocent people. Army-brutality is rampant, and so on. Such news are never true. But something strange is taking place these days. There are news spreading around the world that the people of Gilgit Baltistan have taken it to roads. And, there are protests taking place at the roads. If we look at the internation media, it says that the whole of Gilgit Baltistan is out on the roads. That the people of Gilgit Baltistan are bracing themselves for a mega agitation and Islamabad is completely stumped on this. But, if we check out the same news in Gilgit’s own media Pamir Times or Dawn then we realize what was the problem. But before we can understand the issue, we have to go back a few pages in the book of history. Ever since Pakistan took control of this region, It was being controlled directly from the capital city. Until just a few years ago, Islamabad had all the powers at its discretion. Islamabad could do anything. No rules or regulations. Back then, this region was called FANA:, Federally Administered Northern Areas. But this region was NOT placed above all rules so that they can be exploited. Actually, it was the exact opposite situation. Pakistan wanted Gilgit Baltistan to be included whenever the UN discussed Kashmir issue. For this reason, Pakistan kept the status of this region “disputed”. This way, Pakistan could give favors to Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. Pakistan wanted to give special subsidies and tax exemtions If these areas were given provincial status then these priviliges would not have been possible. This favoritism was necessary for Pakistani establishment because whenever referendum takes place in Kashmir and Kashmiris on both sides of the border get a choice to live with either Pakistan or India, They must choose Pakistan. Pakistan wanted to insist upon the world to force India on a referendum until 1999, Pakstan had a policy of liberating Kashmir through armed Jihad. But after 1999, Musharraf took charge of the government and devised a new policy. He believed that the solution for Kashmir will come from diplomacy. He initiated bilateral discussions. But first, Agra Summit failed Kathmandu’s meeting also went in vain. Backdoor diplomacy was started Presented the famous 4-point formula. Nothing worked. And, Pakistan also learned that no world-power will make India (their enemy) just to solve the Kashmir issue. On the other hand, corruption and terrorism were hurting Pakistan badly. Then it became clear that Gilgit Baltistan will have to be given equal rights and liabilites as other parts of Pakistan.
In 2007, Musharraf government gave lots of rights to FANA with Legal Framework Order. In 2009, Zardari government made some ammendments and issued a new order. It was called Gilgit Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order. Today, this piece of law making the system run in Gilgit Baltistan. The basic theory behind this order is that the resource of Gilgit Baltistan will remain in Gilgit Baltistan. This area will be given province-like status. It will have its own legislative assembly. Its own superior court, and so on. But this is where the problem occurs, It was given province-like status but it wasn’t made a province. And this was the actual demand. What this means is that they have province-like authority but the people cannot elect National Assembly members. Nor does Gilgit Baltistan has a Prime MInister, as Azad Kashmir does. It also means that at every platform where the provinces are represented for instance, Council of Common Interest, Indus River System Authority, National Judicial Council, National Hydro-Electric Board, National Finance Commission etc Gilgit Baltistan is not represented anywhere. Because it is not a province yet.
What it means is that every province has a set quota of natural resources, but Gilgit Baltistan does not. At the moment, Gilgit Baltistan gets everything through an order and this order can be changed anytime. On the other hand, all of the taxes that are present in the provinces, have been imposed in Gilgit Baltistan. This is why they are protesting. These protests are not against Pakistan, they are for merging with Pakistan. People of Gilgit Baltistan say that they want to pay taxes but they should also get their rights. All leading opposition parties of Pakistan supported these protests, including PTI and PPP and, the civil society of Pakistan also stood with Gilgit Baltistan. Now the question arises that if Gilgit Baltistan wants to become a province, who has an objection? The simplified answer is that other provinces have objections. Obviously, if new provinces are made in Pakistan then new resource distribution formulas will also be required. What will be the share of water for each province?
What will be the share of finance for each province? All will have to be decided again. It will be a complete chaos Pakistani version of Game of Thrones. This is the reason FATA is not being merged with KPK. This is the reason that new provinces aren’t being made in Pakistan. But, we will have to make them. Spain’s total population is 50 million, and that country has 50 provinces while Pakistan’s population is 200 million but provinces are only four. It seems that new provinces will start emerging on the map from next year and the process will start from Gilgit Baltistan. Because Pakistan cannot afford to make Gilgit angry. A few days ago, Islamabad decided to abolish Gilgit Baltistan Council. This way, all of Islamabad’s powers will be transferred to Gilgit. The next (and last) step would be to declare Gilgit Baltistan the fifth province.