Sharif ouster could bring uncertainty in CPEC

Beijing [China]: The disqualification of Nawaz Sharif is likely bring some uncertainty to the ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, an editorial in the state-run mouth piece Global Times has said.

According to the daily, Pakistan’s political parties have some disagreements on the project, especially whether the east or west route of the project should be given priority.

However, it adds that in overall terms, the change in the Pakistan leadership will not affect bilateral ties between the two nations, and would only usher in some variable factors to the CPEC project.

It may be recalled that a five-member larger bench of Pakistan’s Supreme Court unanimously disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over corruption charges on July 28.

An interim Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, has assumed charge of the office until a more permamnety choice is made.

The Global Times editorial opines that some Pakistan political parties, out of their intention to grab more investment projects and play the domestic political game, have cast doubt on some specific items in their economic cooperation with China.

Economically developed provinces like Punjab and Sindh are along the east route, while the west route goes through less-developed provinces like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Nawaz Sharif supported the east route, but opposition parties favored the west. In this regard, the CPEC project would face some uncertainties if the next election in 2018 leads to a change in ruling party.

“The possibility of reviewing some projects’ negotiation processes and conditions cannot be ruled out if an opposition party takes power,” says the daily. (ANI)