Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had removed his favorite Lt Gen Asim Salim Bajwa from the post of CPEC chairman to please China. Bajwa was facing charges of committing serious corruption through CPEC and benefitting his family members. Not only this, due to Bajwa’s corruption, Xi Jinping canceled his proposed visit to Pakistan in the last months of 2020. China was also irritated by the continuous attacks on Chinese citizens working in the CPEC.
Pak PMO issued statement
According to Pakistani media, the Imran government on Tuesday replaced Lt Asim Bajwa and appointed Khalid Mansoor as the head of the CPEC in an effort to expedite the completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. The Pakistani Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying that Khalid Mansoor has been appointed as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on the CPEC with immediate effect. Mansoor’s appointment will be honorary.
Who is Khalid Mansoor?
Khalid Mansoor has over 40 years of experience in the Pakistani corporate world, especially in the energy and petrochemical sectors. Mansoor, a chemical engineering degree holder, has also worked with international institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and China’s Exim Bank. He has recently re-joined the Board of Directors of Sindh Angro Coal Mining Company (SECMC). Mansoor served as the Chief Executive of Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco) and is the Chairman of LaRaebe Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Habco.
But China was angry with Pakistan
For the past few years, there was tension in China and Pakistan over CPEC projects. The Pakistani media itself had reported that China had expressed concern several times about the slow construction pace of the CPEC. At the same time, the continuous attacks on Chinese citizens working in CPEC further fueled China’s anger against Asim Salim Bajwa. A few days ago, terrorists attacked a bus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and killed 9 Chinese engineers. In Balochistan also, there are constant attacks on Pakistani army and Chinese civilians.
Bajwa committed scam by becoming the chairman of CPEC
Asim Salim Bajwa was the first spokesperson of the Pakistan Army and later on retirement, he was made the chairman of CPEC in view of his closeness to China. Bajwa’s family has set up 99 companies and 133 restaurants during and after his stay in the army. According to the report of Fact Focus, this economic empire of Bajwa and his family is spread in 4 countries. When the Fact Focus website made this big disclosure, their website was hacked for some time. However, it was later fixed.
What is CPEC Project
China is building a road to connect its Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s Gwadar port through the CPEC project. This road is being built under Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. In which sugar industries will also be set up on the side of the road. Apart from this, projects like hydroelectric dam, rail line have also been included in this. The total cost of the project has been estimated at $60 billion, while experts estimate that it is bound to increase.
India has been registering protest
India has always opposed the CPEC. The project passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Even a few days ago, India had asked China to vacate PoK and Gilgit Baltistan. India may also face a strategic threat through this project. Under the guise of this project, China and Pakistan are developing strategically important places.
[Attribution to NBT]