An Analysis of External Security Threats to CPEC and Pakistan’s Response

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Dr Azhar Ahmad, et. al.


China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is hailed as a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The project was signed in April 2015, between Pakistan and China. CPEC is beneficial for both countries and has the potential to help Pakistan to overcome its economic issues. However, the project has certain challenges which pose serious threat to the progress and sustainability of this venture. This study focuses primarily on external challenges that the economic corridor faces. Broadly, the challenges discussed range from Sino-US rivalry, Indo-US strategic partnership, the Indian factor, instability in Afghanistan to the most challenging threat that is terrorism. Methodologically, a mix of qualitative and quantitative approach has been applied. For the primary data, interviews and surveys have been conducted and for secondary data, sources such as books, journals and news articles are used. To gain insight into the different challenges to CPEC, study and analysis of the data is carried out in order to measure the viewpoint of Pakistani public and intelligentsia. Four simple questions pertaining to external security challenges to CPEC have been constructed as part of the survey. The sample was chosen from international relations experts, CPEC analysts, government officials and students to obtain information that was relevant and credible. An involvement of significant number of M.Phils. and PhDs. in the study contributed to the credibility of the data and the balanced approach.

According to results, majority respondents viewed that terrorism, Indo-US alliance and instability in Afghanistan are major causes negatively affecting the progress of CPEC but Pakistan has the potential to mitigate all kinds of security threats. This research will be helpful to understand and respond to propaganda levelled against CPEC.


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