China-Pakistan or China-IndoPak economic corridor?1,469 views
There is a well known Gujrati motto, “The first rule of money – never use your own”. Modi, being a good Gujju will soon be applying this rule on behalf of India. Of course I am glad to see Modi visit Lahore, but doubt if it is impromptu or without a deep purpose.
India has been opposing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor since the beginning. The CPEC is a $ 46 billion mega project. The amount is BIGGER THAN PAKISTAN’s ANNUAL BUDGET THIS YEAR. At current exchange rates, Pakistan’s Rs. 4.451 trillion budget converts to about $ 42.5 billion. The economic benefit to Pakistan is undoubtedly tremendous and to China it is even greater as it extends to much beyond economics. India has realized it can not stop the project and it is time to join the band wagon for free. China has always wanted India’s involvement, but not at the cost of offending Pakistan.
Here is a possible conversation that took place when Modi visited China in May 2015.
Prime Minister Modi: President, India opposes the CPEC because it goes through India’s territory and without our permission.
President Xi Jinping: Mr. Prime Minister, if you mean Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir, you know that is not an issue as it has not been resolved for last 70 years.
PM: You are right, but we actually want to resolve it as it will cut the hands of the over-ambitious Pakistan Army.
Pres: PM Paya, I mean Nawaz, agrees with you. After MQM and PPP, he knows he is next on the hit list. But let us get back to CPEC.
PM: You know India has a lot to benefit from the corridor, we also want access to Middle-East and African markets and like you concern for cheaper oil imports, we can benefit a lot from oil imports from Iran. But you know we are a poor nation and do not have money to spend.
Pres: Yes I was briefed about the Gujju motto for money. We have always wanted India to be part of the corridor, Iran has built its portion of the pipeline to Pakistan and we have MADE SURE PAKISTAN’s PORTION IS PART OF CPEC. But I am also told all Gujjus are born with a Phd. in bargaining. I don’t see you applying that with Pakistan.
PM: I wanted your blessings first. From Kashmir, we need to build only a few hundred KMs of roads and railway tracks to link to your corridor and we have full access to the $ 46 billion infrastructure that you are spending. And of course 2/3 of the India-Iran oil pipeline will be already built and we will just build the balance to link it to India. Can you lend us the money for that at 1.6% like you did to Pakistan?
Pres: Sorry not at 1.6%. We know Pakistan will never pay on time and we will make money on the penal interest and rescheduling.
PM: So decided India is part of the Corridor. Can we rename it to CIPEC (China-Indo Pak Economic corridor).
Pres: Don’t push your luck!