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Introduction

Of all China’s neighboring countries, China-Pakistan relations are the closest and friendliest. The
two countries established diplomatic relations in 1951, making Pakistan one of the first Islamic
countries as well as the second country in South Asia after India to establish diplomatic relations
with China. The two countries have remained strong allies ever since. The closeness of the
relationship between the two countries can be seen from major bilateral interactions over the
years. For instance, in the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1965 and 1971, China took the side of Pakistan
against India.1 In addition, China supported the alliance between Pakistan and the United States
against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. China also provided assistance for Pakistan
to become a nuclear power in 1998, and used its Security Council veto power for the first time in
1972 to block the entry of Bangladesh into the United Nations. Pakistan played a crucial role in
the ice-breaking visit of U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger to China in 1971, and
was one of only two United Nations member countries (along with Cuba) to support China
following the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989. The two countries enjoy close cooperation in
areas such as trade, borders, and their militaries, meaning that Pakistan has a unique status
among China’s many diplomatic allies.2

How can we understand the special relationship between China and Pakistan? Why have the two
countries enjoyed such friendly and stable diplomatic relations across a whole range of areas
over the past 65 years? If we can accurately answer these two questions, we can more fully
understand the strategic importance of Pakistan both in the region and worldwide. As one of the
world’s major powers, China’s development across a range of areas has been the subject of
increasing international attention in recent years. China is widely considered to be an “emerging
power” that may threaten the United States in the future. Therefore, China’s strategic
relationship with Pakistan must be understood from an international strategic perspective,
specifically the interlocking geopolitical relationships between China, the United States, India

1
http://pakobserver.net/cpec-india-opposing-project/
2
http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/china/docs/division_ecran/ecran_is1_china_pakistan_relations_gareth_pric
e_en.pdf
and Russia. In addition, the struggle between Western and Islamic civilisation in the context of
developments in the Middle East following the 11 September attacks, in particular the global
spread and diffusion of terrorism, are also crucial factors in China–Pakistan relations.

China is the fastest growing economy of the world with an average 10 per cent growth rate over
the past 30 years. Its current objective is to secure its energy supplies. This has prompted the
Chinese to enter into strategic cooperation with the resource rich countries of the world including
its immediate neighbor Pakistan.
Rolling out the $45 billion deal linked to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC), the
“Higher than Mountain, Deeper than Ocean” clichéd Sino-Pak ties reached new dimensions as
the two countries signed 51 agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for
cooperation in different fields in April this year as President Xiping visited that country after
much postponement earlier. 3Beginning with the economic and technical cooperation, the MoUs
touched whatever you could name, from Gwadar to climate change to motorways…..

The relationship has seen an upward swing since it started modestly in 1955 at Bandung, where
Prime Ministers Mohammed Ali Bogra and Zhou En-lai met; the $2 billion bilateral trade in
2002 has seen an increase since the signing of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement
(CPFTA) (enforced in 2007) between the two countries: “Trade volume increased from around
$6bn in 2006 to $16bn in 2014; trade volume is targeted at $20bn”. Chinese investment in
Pakistan (telecommunications, energy, infrastructure, heavy engineering, IT, mining, and
defence industries) has reached $1.5 billion. Roughly 10,000 Chinese workers and 60 big
Chinese companies are engaged in 122 projects in Pakistan in the fields of oil, gas, power
generation, engineering and information technology.

3
http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/News-Analysis/2017-07-25/CPEC-and-future-of-Gilgit-
Baltistan/314482
Research Methodology

Methodology:

This Research Project is descriptive and analytical in nature. Accumulation of the information on
the topic includes wide use of primary sources such as cases as well as secondary sources like
books, e-articles etc. The matter from these sources have been compiled and analysed to
understand the concept.

Websites, dictionaries and articles have also been referred.

The structure of the project, as instructed by the Faculty of Political Science has been adhered to
and same has been helpful in giving the project a fine finish off.

Objectives:

The objectives of the current project are:

1. To understand the concept of Statelessness and find out the position of stateless people
under International Law.
2. To find out the status of Stateless people in India.
3. To suggest steps to tackle the problem of statelessness.

Scope of the Study:


The current project attempts to find out, analyze and critique the situation of statelessness being
seen all across the globe with special reference to India. The project mainly focuses on the two
most important Conventions relating to the occurrence of statelessness and does not go in depth
about the other conventions which primarily not deal with this problem.

Organization of the Study:

This project report has been organized into five sections. The first section deals with the
introduction along with the Research methodology employed in preparation of this project. The
second section comprises of the concept of Nationality and deals with its importance. The third
section deals with the Occurrence of Statelessness and the causes and plight of such people. The
fourth section deals with the Rights and Privileges given to stateless people. The fifth section
deals with the international assistance to such people. The sixth section deals with the situation of
stateless people in India. Lastly the seventh section deals with the Conclusion to this project.
 Background

China’s ties with Pakistan grew closer after the 1962 border war between Beijing and New
Delhi. In 1966, Pakistan put in its first order for Chinese-built planes. Ever since, New Delhi has
distrusted Beijing’s military assistance to its arch-rival, viewing it as a strategy to weaken India.

Pakistan and China have enjoyed a close relationship for decades. Political relations have
remained strong regardless of political developments within Pakistan. Pakistan was once of the
first countries to recognise China rather than Taiwan. The 1962 Sino-India War strengthened the
relationship and, in 1963, Pakistan agreed to cede part of Kashmir to China. From Pakistan’s
perspective, opposition to India remains an important element in the relationship. But China’s
policy towards India appears to be less Pakistan-focussed4. Instead it is primarily driven by fears
that India’s strategic partnership with the US is a means of encircling China. China’s policy
towards Pakistan is clearly in its own self-interest; the infrastructure it is building in Pakistan
(often by Chinese workers) is primarily intended to expedite the export of Chinese goods. But
China is also aware that instability within Pakistan is a significant threat to stability in Xinjiang,
and its defence cooperation is as much in China’s direct interest as it is benevolent.

At both a government-to-government level, and in terms of Pakistani public opinion, China is


seen as a more long-standing friend of Pakistan than the West. However, even if Pakistan sees
the US as a fair-weather friend, while it remains reliant on US (and associated multilateral)
financial assistance, and while the US remains in Afghanistan, Pakistan cannot publicly shift its
primary alliance to China.5 The strong political relationship contrasts with the economic and
cultural links between the two countries. Cultural links are limited. While Chinese investment in
Pakistani infrastructure is welcomed by Pakistan, trade flows are heavily in favour of China and
Pakistan’s textile sector has suffered because of Chinese competition since the ending of the
Multi-Fibre Arrangement.

4
http://thediplomat.com/tag/china-pakistan-relations/
5
https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/china-pakistan-relations
 Main points

• China’s concerns about Uighurs, rather than India, underpin present-day defence cooperation
with Pakistan. Counter-terrorism cooperation is deepening;

• China sees Pakistan as a gateway for its exports and is building up infrastructure links to ease
access between Xinjiang and the Indian Ocean;

• China receives important political support from Pakistan, particularly in forums such as the
Organization of the Islamic Conference;

• Unusually, for a developing country, Pakistan records a significant trade deficit with China. Its
vital textile industry has suffered at the hands of Chinese competition;

• People-to-people and cultural links between the two countries are weak, but China benefits
from positive public opinion within Pakistan. Unlike the West, China is seen an “all-weather”
friend of Pakistan.6

 CPEC- Masterstroke or a Mistake?


In December 2014, the Chinese state-run Xinhua published a statement announcing the
closure of the strategic Khunjerab Pass and in the process referred to Gilgit Baltistan as part
of Pakistan.1Until then, China had maintained that J&K was a bilateral problem/dispute
between India and Pakistan. Whether terming Gilgit Baltistan as part of Pakistan refle cted a
possible shift in the Chinese position on the J&K— a change from its previously held
neutral position – was debated in the Indian media for a while. A section believes that by
taking up a long term project such as the CPEC, the arteries of which will originate in Gilgit
Baltistan, China has yet again tacitly approved Pakistan’s claim and control over this region.
There was no reaction from the Indian official sources to the Xinhua statement. In the past,
a similar statement was withdrawn after India registered a protest to the Chinese news
agency. 7
Responding to a query in the Lok Sabha in December 2014, Minister for External Affairs
Sushma Swaraj noted: “Government has seen reports with regard to China and Pakistan
being involved in infrastructure building activities in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK),

6
http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/04/22/china-pakistan-relations-trade-deal-friendship/
7
http://www.heritage.org/testimony/chinas-military-and-security-relationship-pakistan
including construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Government has conveyed its
concerns to China about their activities in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, and asked them to
cease such activities.”
But somewhat contravening the above is a recent statement by India’s High Commissioner
to Pakistan, who noted:“India has no worry over the construction of Pakistan-China
Economic Corridor as an economically strong Pakistan would bring stability in the region.”
India is yet to comprehensively articulate its approach towards the CPEC despite the fact
that the corridor bodes strategic implications for India. As stated, the corridor will pass
through the Gilgit Baltistan region where China has invested in the past in infrastructure and
hydropower projects. In the Gilgit Baltistan segment, the CPEC project design includes a
major expansion of the Karakoram Highway, establishing industrial parks in special
economic zones, constructing hydropower projects, railway line and road building. The
project also entails building hydropower projects and motorways/highways in the so -called
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). India has occasionally raised objections to Chinese
infrastructure investment in the region.
The origin of the CPEC could be traced to the Border Agreement of 1963, considered a
milestone in China-Pakistan relations. The agreement ceded the 5000 plus square mile Trans
Karakorum Tract to China and served as a precursor to the Karakoram Highway, conceived
later as a strategic link defining China and Pakistan’s ‘all-weather friendship’. The then
Defence Minister of India, Krishna Menon, elaborately enunciated India’s position on the
issue at the UN, condemning the agreement as illegitimate. Besides, India lodged a n
“emphatic protest” to China and conveyed its concerns in a letter of protest. 4 Decades down
the line, while India’s policy orientation and broader claim on Gilgit Baltistan remains
unchanged, its stance on Chinese investments in the Karakoram Highway, and Chinese
efforts to leverage this territorial link to build a strategic corridor, is perceived to be
weakening over time.
 Indian Perspective
Is it because of a realization that in a changed strategic landscape, the options for India vis -
a-vis a project like CPEC are limited and complicated? Is India conflicted about whether to
engage itself in the mega connectivity network project or stay out of it in accordance with
its stated positon on Gilgit Baltistan and the so-called AJK? Participating in the project
would require a major alteration in India’s policy. Overlooking the territorial dimension
could be interpreted as a massive climb-down from its stated position. It may even be
construed as acquiescing to the China-Pakistan alliance in the region and beyond. Thus, the
CPEC poses a policy challenge to India on how best to strike a precarious balance between
securing its strategic/territorial interests without at the same time being confrontational.
Be that as it may, India would need to take a clear positon on the C PEC sooner or later.
Domestically, there has been, till now, no serious political or public debate on how India
should approach the issue. In the absence of a rational public discourse, India is yet to
articulate a clear stand or position on the CPEC. 8 This is also owing to the fact that public
debates in India on issues concerning China and Pakistan are often emotive and devoid of a
rational evaluation of policy options. Charting a policy course is essential since China has,
of late, through stray remarks extended an invitation for India to participate in the Silk
Route ‘one route one belt’ project. The onus now lies on India to respond to such overtures.
India has to take a call on whether it would like to be a party to the CPEC, sit on the fence,
or convey its concerns more emphatically in a bid to discourage China.

 Sino-Pakistan Military Cooperation


Military cooperation between China and Pakistan is growing, and becoming more ostentatious,
because they’re unabashedly teaming up against the world’s second most populous country.

Resistance has been building for decades. China disputes two tracts of land along the Indian
border, with each side controlling one. Lots of Indian troops are stationed near both, and their
military ranks fourth strongest in the world, one notch down from China’s. Pakistan and India

8
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/02/china-pakistan-economic-corridor-worry-india-
170208063418124.html
separately dispute control over the Jammu and Kashmir region between them. Actual control is
split, and thousands have died in related skirmishes over the past 70 years.

“The traditional role Pakistan has played for China is as a counterbalance and distraction for
India, keeping it tied up on its western border and pinned back in South Asia,” says Andrew
Small, senior transatlantic fellow with the Asia program under research and grant-making
organization the German Marshall Fund. “China has helped to provide Pakistan with the
capabilities it needs to play that role effectively, from very basic kit to ballistic missiles and
nuclear technology.9 That…has arguably grown more important to China as India rises and U.S.-
India ties deepen.”

Pakistan befriended China by recognizing it diplomatically in the relatively early year of 1950.
The honor guard's appearance last week caps off decades of reciprocity. In the 1960s it began
providing Pakistan with “major military, technical, and economic assistance, including the
transfer of sensitive nuclear technology and equipment,” according to the think tank Council on
Foreign Relations. Add to that medium-range ballistic missiles. China became the top arms
supplier after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Pakistan in 1990. A Pakistani ambassador to
Washington once called his country a “low-cost secondary deterrent to India.”

Indians see Chinese support for Pakistan as a “key aspect of Beijing’s perceived policy of
‘encirclement’ or constraint of India as a means of preventing or delaying New Delhi’s ability to
challenge Beijing’s region-wide influence,” according to a U.S. Congressional Research
Service reportin 2009. India grew closer militarily to the United States after 2000, culminating in
an August 2016 agreement to step up military exchanges plus cooperation on defense
technology. U.S. officials hope to use India’s position and size to hold off China and buffer its
interests in the Middle East, according to the Eastasiaforum.org research group.10

China’s PLA may have picked an appearance on Pakistan’s Republic Day last week with India in
mind, at least symbolically. On March 23, 1940, Pakistanis passed a resolution to demand
separation for Muslims living under the British Indian empire. Seven years later India and
Pakistan were divided.

9
http://cpec.gov.pk/
10
http://www.heritage.org/testimony/chinas-military-and-security-relationship-pakistan
“Pakistan is unambiguously China's closest military partner, but the two sides have tended to be
somewhat discreet about it,” Small says. “In the last couple of years, there has been much more
willingness on China's part to publicly ‘own’ this element of their relationship.

 Analysis

The CPEC sets the stage for China to wield pre-eminent economic, military and diplomatic
influence in Pakistan. The agreement for Chinese companies to construct 51 Chinese-aided
infrastructure, energy and military projects shows that Beijing’s engagement with Pakistan is for
the foreseeable long-term. It seeks to bind Pakistan to China as power generation, transport,
commerce, R&D and the defence of Pakistan will all be increasingly tied to Chinese investment
and interests. Almost six months before Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad an influential senior
Chinese academic, specialising in researching Afghanistan-Pakistan and who is occasionally
called to brief the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee (CC)’s Politburo, said in
private conversation that “while we had earlier purchased the loyalty of the Pakistanis, now we
will buy Pakistan!”11

With his decision to visit Pakistan, Xi Jinping became only the second Chinese leader to travel to
Pakistan after Hu Jintao (November 23-26, 2006) nine years earlier. Unmistakably deliberate in
its timing just three weeks prior to Indian Prime Minister Modi’s arrival in China, the visit was
important and marked the initiation of a bold new policy. It signalled that in the pursuit of
national interest Beijing no longer feels the need to retain even the diplomatic façade of showing
sensitivity to India’s concerns and that, in the backdrop of warming Indo-US relations, will use
Pakistan to exert greater pressure on India. Equally clear is that China’s leadership has
determined that elevating its comprehensive relationship with Pakistan would best serve its
strategic interests and that this objective will overshadow any other foreign policy considerations
including that of ensuring a friendly, peaceful neighbourhood.12

11
https://southasianvoices.org/an-analysis-of-the-china-pakistan-economic-corridor/
12
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/news/anatomy-of-china-pakistan-economic-corridor-project/
By announcing the construction of several major civil and military infrastructure projects as part
of the CPEC in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, China
has accorded de facto ‘legitimacy’ to Pakistan’s illegal occupation of Kashmir, Gilgit and
Baltistan as well as Pakistan’s illegal cessation in 1963 of the Shaksgam Valley in Pakistan
occupied Kashmir (PoK) to China. Beijing has thus dispelled decades of ambiguity to side with
Pakistan on the Kashmir issue ignoring India’s concerns regarding its sovereignty and territorial
integrity. Within weeks of Xi Jinping’s visit, senior Chinese leaders and officials were describing
Pakistan as China’s “ally” and “only friend”. This enhanced relationship was publicised when
Prof Yan Xuetong, Director of the Institute for International Relations at Beijing’s Tsinghua
University and an influential Chinese strategic analyst close to Xi Jinping, told the New York
Times on February 9, 2016 that “China has only one real ally, Pakistan.” The CPEC has far
reaching implications.
Reflective of China’s attitude was Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao’s
condescending remark in mid-April 2015, that "the project between China and Pakistan does not
concern the relevant dispute between India and Pakistan. I do not think the Indian side should be
over-concerned about that". The comment is at obvious odds with Beijing’s prickly reaction to
India’s offshore exploration efforts in Vietnamese waters and stand on the South China Sea
dispute. Equally insensitive were suggestions by senior Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
officials and influential Chinese academics, just weeks after Prime Minister Modi’s visit to
Beijing, that India could join the CPEC and benefit!

Over the years China has built a solid constituency in Pakistan’s Army, bureaucracy and
diplomatic corps, all of which are strong supporters of close strategic ties with China. They have
backed the development and management of Gwadar Port by China and the CPEC. Since 2010,
more officers of the Pakistan armed forces undergo training in China than the US. In April 2015,
just weeks before Xi Jinping’s arrival in Pakistan, former Pakistan Ambassador Riaz Khokar
hinted at the need for elevating the existing intelligence cooperation and wrote in China’s state-
run Global Times that the two countries must identify hostile elements operating in Balochistan.
Later, in an article in Dawn on April 17, 2016, prior to the meeting between the Foreign
Secretaries of India and Pakistan, former Pakistan Ambassador Munir Akram said, “So long as
India persists in its reported support for the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, and the Balochi
Liberation Army, Pakistan would be unwise to give up the option of supporting the legitimate
struggle of the Kashmiri people for freedom and self-determination.” Calling for “much closer
ties with China”, he described strategic cooperation with China as critical. Despite the opposition
and reservations expressed by some Pakistani provincial politicians, the Pakistan Army under
General Chief Raheel Sharif has staunchly backed the CPEC.13

Opposition to the CPEC centres primarily on the terms for loans with quite a few prominent
Pakistani journalists and academics pointing out that the interest rates are high and the projects,
especially the energy projects, are commercially unviable. Pakistan’s provincial and local
politicians are objecting to the paths designated for the transportation corridors and the location
of projects, with Punjab and Sindh accused of having cornered the majority. There is also
widespread dissatisfaction at the employment only of Chinese workers and the project
construction sites being isolated inside 10-foot high walled perimeters ostensibly for security.
Locals in Balochistan and the Northern Areas also reportedly resent the exploitation of their
natural resources and not being employed on these projects. This has prompted the critics to
question the supposed benefits accruing to Pakistan and Pakistanis and the burden of debt that
the CPEC will place on Pakistan. Security is a serious concern after the attacks on Chinese
workers in Balochistan and now visiting Chinese officials and workers move around Gwadar
only with heavy security provided by the army and police. The attacks have the potential to
spread, though, as indicated by the bombing in Karachi on May 2016, when a Chinese engineer
and his driver were injured. Responsibility for the bombing was claimed by Sindhudesh
Revolutionary Army, a little-known separatist group advocating the independence of Sindh.14

To assuage the concern of Chinese companies and their employees working on Chinese- aided
projects in Balochistan and other areas, the Pakistan army has raised a 10,000- strong division
comprising elements of the Frontier Corps, police and Levies under Major General Abdul
Rafique. In November 2015, Q.U. Jainging, Deputy Director General of China's Ministry of
Public Security (MPS), along with “senior officials” of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms
Lili and Zhang Maoming, visited Gwadar to assess the security environment and met Major
General Azhar Naveed, Home Secretary of Balochistan and senior Pakistan army and civil
officers. Since then there have been a number of senior-level Chinese security and military

13
http://www.idsa.in/taxonomy/term/610
14
http://studies.aljazeera.net/en/reports/2016/08/strategic-importance-chinese-pakistani-relations-
160803101555719.html
delegations to Pakistan including to CPEC project sites. The delegations have met local
politicians, government officials and interacted closely with Pakistan army and ISI officers in
Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gwadar and Quetta. Pakistan-based Chinese diplomats have also been
attending coordination meetings. At least two conferences were held in Gwadar and Quetta in
April this year. A two-day (April 11-13, 2016) ‘national conference’ held in Gwadar, for
example, was attended by politicians, influential citizens and over 30 Pakistan Army and ISI
officials and Chinese diplomats from Islamabad.

While China has appreciated the Pakistan Army’s new security force, there is credible
information that in early January 2016, Beijing informed Islamabad that it is “raising” a division-
strength “private army” in China for deployment to protect the CPEC, including in the PoK,
Gilgit and Baltistan areas. The Chinese security personnel are to be deployed in addition to the
force provided by Pakistan. China already has in place the necessary legal framework permitting
deployment of its troops and security personnel abroad for protecting China’s national
interests.15

Other steps are being taken to safeguard China’s investments. A report in Dawn of January 7,
2016, disclosed that Pakistan plans to upgrade the constitutional status of the disputed Gilgit-
Baltistan region as a corollary to the CPEC. A senior ‘government’ official from Gilgit-Baltistan
described this as intended to give “legal” cover to proposed Chinese investments since "China
cannot afford to invest billions of dollars on a road that passes through a disputed territory
claimed both by India and Pakistan.16" China had indicated its position on Gilgit-Baltistan as
early as in the 1980s when its official media referred to this as Pakistani territory.

The move also has other major implications. It will integrate this portion of Kashmir with
Pakistan by giving it considerably enhanced legislative powers, control of its revenue and
allowing it to be represented in Pakistan’s federal parliament by two members for the first time --
albeit as observers. Pakistani strategic analyst Ayesha Siddiqa interpreted the move as possibly
demonstrating “Islamabad's desire to end the Kashmir conflict by formally absorbing the
territory it controls -- and, by extension, recognising New Delhi's claims to parts of the region it

15
http://www.realinstitutoelcano.org/wps/portal/rielcano_en/contenido?WCM_GLOBAL_CONTEXT=/elcano/elcan
o_es/zonas_es/asia-pacifico/ari53-2016-esteban-china-pakistan-corridor-transit-economic-development
16
http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Civil-Services/2017-02-06/China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor-
CPEC/278830
controls, such as the Kashmir Valley”. She said: "If we begin to absorb it so can India. It
legitimises their absorption of the valley."

This could, however, well be the thin end of the wedge as Pakistan appears to have got
emboldened following the upgrading of its relationship with China. Examples are its renewed
efforts to raise the Kashmir issue internationally, the uptick of restiveness and violence in
Kashmir over the past year, and higher likelihood of further terrorist attacks elsewhere in India.
Beijing had, incidentally, earlier hinted at its ability to meddle in India’s internal affairs and
specifically in J&K, when in 2010 a so-called Chinese NGO invited Hurriyat ‘leader’ Mirwaiz
Umar Farooq to China. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq had then stated that China has a role in settlement
of the Kashmir issue. More recently on March 14, 2016, the Deccan Chronicle quoted the hard-
line Pakistan-backed Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Hurriyat Conference as describing “China as
a reliable friend of the people of Kashmir” and saying “it is extremely thankful to Beijing” for its
“unconditional support” and for not recognizing the Himalayan State’s “illegal and forced
occupation by India”.

 Security Implications for India

 The focus of Chinese spending in Pakistan, besides trade, economic aid and infrastructure
development, will give China direct access to the Arabian Sea and beyond, boosting its influence
in the immediate Indian neighbourhood of Central and South Asian region and Middle East
 The changed alignment of CPEC, running almost along the border and upgradation of
Karakorum Highway (Havelian to Thakot) and Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Multan to Sukkur)
would significantly contribute towards Pakistan’s options for swift force generation in the
desired area of military operations and switch them if the situation so warrants. The CPEC also
has strategic implications.17
 The CPEC Development Plan includes construction of approx 19 tunnels between Hunza and
Khunjerab Pass. The construction of this stretch is being exclusively handled by Chinese
nationals. The tunnels afford ideal facilities to store high-value military weapons like missiles.

17
http://www.pressreader.com/pakistan/the-diplomatic-insight/20170131/281526520808891
 The signing of the Framework Agreement on Joint Feasibility Study for up-gradation of ML1
(Karachi to Peshawar Railways link) and development/up-gradation of Karachi Cantonment,
Peshawar, Quetta, Okara, Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur railway stations have strategic implications
for India. Majority of these rail facilities are utilised by Pakistan Armed forces for build-up and
maintenance of its military assets.
 Presently a terminus of a branch railway, the plan is to upgrade Havelian to a dry port capable of
holding containers and about 2 million tonnes of goods per year. Havelian has one of the largest
ordnance factories of Pakistan along with an ordnance depot. Located in adequate depth near
Abbottabad, it provides ideal storage and transit facility for speedy build up of military hardware
and logistics to support military operations in the LC Sector or plains of Punjab, without being
unduly prone to Indian interdiction.
 Though not part of the Chinese President’s agreements but linked to CPEC, China has revealed
plans to construct an airport on the strategically located Pamir plateau in the city of Tashkurgan
on the Karakoram Highway. China aims to use the airport to swiftly transfer resources to the
remote but strategically important region of Akshai Chin and PoK. Presently the Chinese,
opposite our J&K sector, suffers from the drawback of having just two major airbases at Kashgar
and Khotan which are 800 and 600 km away respectively from the nearest Indian air bases.
 Taking over of Pakistan's Gwadar port, concessional loan for Gwadar International Airport and
upgradation of Gwadar Port East Bay Expressway Project, guarantee berthing, maintenance and
replenishment of China's naval ships and provide China a logistic base/staging ground for
furtherance of its trade, energy needs and regional influence.
 Apart from widening of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), which is the feeder, infrastructure
development by the Chinese in the Northern areas has not only assisted Pakistan strengthen its
military bases near LC but also ensured availability of troops and resources throughout the year,
ensuring capability to undertake operations anytime.
 China has exhibited no qualms regarding construction of railways, highways and energy projects
(Karot dam on Sutlej) in PoK and Akshai Chin. It violates the territorial integrity of India and
would add to new tensions and regional uncertainties. It would be prudent for the Indian security
advisors to factor in the growing China-Pak operational nexus and undertake measures to counter
them
Conclusion
Pakistan places high economic hopes in CPEC. To what extent the project can really be carried
out remains unclear. There has always been a gap between official announcements and the funds
actually spent on Chinese projects in Pakistan. Nevertheless, in the medium to long-term CPEC
is likely to have a positive effect on the economic development of the country, for example by
contributing to improving Pakistan’s infrastructure and easing its chronic energy shortage. CPEC
strengthens the strategic alliance between Pakistan and China. At first glance, it would therefore
seem likely to exacerbate the dispute between Pakistan and India. But in Pakistan, too, there is a
change of thinking taking place. For example, in Islamabad there is a growing understanding that
supporting militant groups in order to achieve foreign policy objectives in neighboring countries
such as India and Afghanistan is increasingly counterproductive and has negative effects on
Pakistan’s national security. Moreover, China nourishes hopes that CPEC and its economic
effects will also contribute to the transformation of Pakistani society and the strengthening of
moderate forces. China reasons that peaceful development in Pakistan could in turn also have a
positive influence on the region, for example with regard to the situation in Afghanistan.
Securing Chinese trade routes by granting Gilgit-Baltistan the constitutional status of a province
would codify the status quo, thus indirectly bringing the Kashmir dispute to an end and closing a
chapter in global politics. India has already signaled in previous negotiations with Pakistan, for
example in 2007, that it is willing to accept the status quo in Kashmir, which evinces the current
division of the territory. After all there is still a possibility, however unlikely, that India may one
day endorse the internationalization of the Kashmir dispute and a referendum. Were Kashmiris to
then vote in favor of accession to the Indian Union, CPEC would become obsolete overnight.
References:

1. studies.aljazeera.net
2. Academia.edu
3. Cpec.gov.pk