Pakistan has once again invited Turkey to join its ambitious project CPEC. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. This was the third time during a ceremony at the Karachi-based shipyard on Wednesday when Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was proposing to Turkey to be a part of the CPEC. This ceremony was related to the project of Turkey’s MILGEM, under which Turkey is making corvettes ie warships for the Pakistani Navy. Turkey’s Vice President Sevdet Yilmaz and other senior government officials of the country were also present at the ceremony. Earlier, during his visit to Turkey in November last year, the Pakistani Prime Minister had invited Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to join the CPEC.
Last year May 2022, Pakistan proposed to Turkey to be a part of the CPEC project and to create a three-pronged arrangement between China, Pakistan and Turkey. But Turkey has not yet given any decision on these proposals of Pakistan. Both Turkey and Pakistan have deep relations with each other. Both are Sunni-dominated countries of the Islamic world and consider each other as good friends.
There are political and economic relations between the two countries. Türkiye is working on many projects in Pakistan. The Prime Minister of Pakistan repeatedly proposes Turkey join CPEC. Shahbaz Sharif himself has many business contacts in Türkiye. At present, Pakistan is making every effort to attract investment in the country so that the country’s balance sheet can improve. Pakistan is trapped in the debt trap and Turkey’s investment can provide a big relief to it. However, other than these reasons, he considers China to be the biggest reason behind this.
China itself wants CPEC to be expanded. For China, CPEC is an important means of establishing its hegemony in Central and West Asia. SD Pradhan, former chairman of India’s Joint Intelligence Committee, enumerates five reasons behind China’s interest in Turkey in an old article written for the Times of India. He writes that Turkey is a country situated between Europe and Asia and China considers the geo-strategic position of Turkey invaluable for its ambitious Belt Road Initiative project. The city of Istanbul in Turkey is considered the bridge between Asia and Europe. Using this, China hopes to easily expand its expansion in Europe, West and Central Asia.
China feels that Turkey’s inclusion in the CPEC will give it the image of an international project and weaken India’s objections to it. China intends to control people associated with ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement), a separatist organization of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province with the help of Turkey. This will strengthen the tripartite relations of all three countries (Turkey, Pakistan and China). Through both countries, China will be facilitated in getting Western technology. Both Turkey and China have a similar stand on eastern Ladakh, which can help in building pressure on India.
The current economic and political situation of Pakistan is well known. The country is unstable on both fronts. In the last two years, Pakistan’s global stature has suffered a major setback. America has also distanced itself from Pakistan. Taking part in a purely economic project would not be a safe move for Turkey considering the country’s unstable situation. Talking about the CPEC project, Fazzur Rahman says that until Pakistan becomes politically stable, there is no certainty about this project either.
A major part of this project is in Balochistan and Baloch separatists are against it. Baloch separatists feel that CPEC will benefit the federal government of Pakistan or other prosperous provinces like Punjab. At the same time, the local people here believe that with the help of CPEC, China will capture the resources of Balochistan and the Baloch people will not get a chance to use their own natural and other resources. On the other hand, Turkey’s diplomatic strategy is also preventing it from joining CPEC. Turkey has improved its relations with the Gulf countries after much effort. In such a situation, by accepting Pakistan’s proposal, Turkey would not want to give the message that it is closer to Pakistan.
Turkey will not get any big benefit from this in the current situation. It can only happen that Turkish private companies will get cheap labour and cheap production cost. India has always opposed this project and the real reason for this opposition is that CPEC passes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
India calls it against the sovereignty of the country. In May 2022, when Pakistan invited Turkey to join the CPEC, Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi responded by saying that any such move would directly interfere with India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Will happen. But if Turkey accepts Pakistan’s invitation and becomes a part of the CPEC project, what will it mean for India?
Our Pakistan in the year 2020 During the visit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country is ready to be a partner in the development of CPEC. But in the last year, despite the proposal from Pakistan three times, Turkey has not taken any initiative in this direction. The chances are slim now that Türkiye will join CPEC. Still, if such a situation arises, it can prove to be a setback for India. The reason is obvious that Turkey’s stand on the issue of Kashmir and East Ladakh has been anti-India. Coming together of all these three countries Pakistan, China and Turkey can prove to be a challenge for India.
As the name suggests, this is a project related to the construction of an economic corridor between China and Pakistan. This Economic Corridor was announced in the year 2013 and it is an important part of China’s ambitious project Belt and Road Initiative. Under this project, infrastructure on a 3000-kilometre-long route from Xinjiang located in the northwest of China to Gwadar in Balochistan, Pakistan Projects are running. China has invested $62 billion in this project. The website of the Government of Pakistan related to ‘CPEC’ claims that this project will not only benefit China and Pakistan but also have a positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republic and the entire region.
At present, several projects are going on under CPEC in the fields of energy, transport infrastructure, Gwadar, industrial cooperation and social and economic development. A total of 21 projects are underway for energy needs, out of which 14 projects have been completed. While work on two projects is going on and five projects are under consideration. 10 projects have been completed at Gwadar Port, while 4 are in the pipeline. There are a total of 24 projects related to transport infrastructure – 6 have been completed. Rather, there are 5 under construction, 8 in pipeline and 5 long-term projects. No project related to industrial cooperation has been completed so far. At the same time, 5 projects related to socioeconomic development have been completed.
The Belt and Road Initiative or ‘One Belt, One Road’ is an ambitious project of China. China describes this huge project as the modern incarnation of the historical ‘Silk Route’. The Silk Route was the route in the Middle Ages that connected China with the rest of Europe and Asia. Through this, the business of all the countries was done. At present, on this line, China wants to weave a network of roads, railway lines and sea routes all over the world, through which it can easily do business with the whole world.
So far 130 countries are involved in China’s Belt and Road project. This includes 38 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, 34 countries in Europe and Central Asia, 25 countries in East Asia and the Pacific, 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, 18 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 6 countries in Southeast Asia. Are. At the same time, almost all the neighbouring countries of India like Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Afghanistan are also included in this. On the other hand, experts from many countries, including India, call OBOR a part of China’s deep conspiracy. He says that under the guise of the modern Silk Route, China is expanding its ambitions and trapping small countries in a debt trap. Recently, Italy’s Defense Minister said in a statement that joining China’s Belt and Road Project (BRI) was a “hasty and disastrous” decision.