Experts have raised an alarm over the safety of the multi-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Gwadar port off the coast in Pakistan. According to them, the project in Gwadar port could be under threat if a catastrophe strikes the region.
Gwadar, located close to the Makran Trench, witnessed a huge earthquake of 8.1 magnitudes in 1945, which triggered a tsunami that battered Iran, Pakistan, Oman and India and killed around 4,000 people. The trench is the meeting point for two tectonic plates.
To prevent such catastrophe, a team of 40 researchers from China and Pakistan boarded the Experimental 3 vessel for the trench in January and did a ‘CT scan’ (geological survey) in the region. However, not much is known about the zone, the South China Morning Post reported.
The Gwadar port has been leased to China for 40 years and any potential disaster in the area could undermine Beijing’s ambitions to revive the ancient trade route from China through Asia to Africa and Europe.
However, this is not the only threat that Pakistani and Chinese authorities have been fearing. Almost a week back, there were reports of the Pakistan government raising an alarm fearing an attack by India on CPEC installations, and even started making security arrangements to tackle any eventuality.
According to Pakistan-based media agency Dawn, the Pakistan government had written to Gilgil-Baltistan home department in this regard.
Dawn quoted an official of the home department as saying that a recent directive by the country’s Interior Ministry warned of a possible attack on the CPEC route.
According to the report, the letter sent by Pakistan Interior Ministry said that India had sent a group of 400 Muslim youth to Afghanistan to get training, following which they would be used to attack CPEC installations in Pakistan.
The targets of India include bridges at Karakoram Highway, mentioned the letter.
Following the development, security along the CPEC route had been increased by Pakistan, and the situation was reportedly being monitored by senior officials of the Gilgit-Baltistan administration. The bridges along the route had also been declared sensitive.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has been a bone of contention between China and India since its inception.