South Asian Studies, Vol 37, No 1 (2022)

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A Narrative of Debt Trap Vs Connectivity under CPEC: A Case of Gwadar Port

Rizwan Naseer, Qiubin Wang, Ahmad Ali


Gwadar has been an underdeveloped city in Baluchistan but CPEC has addressed problems of education, health and electricity for local populace. The vision to convert Gwadar into a hub of trade is reaping benefits for Pakistan. China‟s investment and loans in Gwadar under the CPEC are termed as Debt Trap by the India and U.S. media outlets. Majority of the Western media, academia and policy making circles deliberately established the narrative of Debt Trap Diplomacy (DTD). Gwadar port is likely to unlock potential of connectivity with regional trade partners in West Asia-Central Asia and South Asia. This project is a win-win situation for China and Pakistan. China‟s investment in Gwadar port will improve Pakistan‟s economy, uplift Baluchistan‟s living standards by offering attractive opportunity to potential investors in Gwadar‟s free zone. China‟s investment in Gwadar is promising to bring real change in Gwadar and Pakistan in particular. Due to massive propaganda against Gwadar, desired results have not been achieved yet. This paper is based on primary as well as secondary data. Primary data has been collected from Planning Commission of Pakistan on the condition of anonymity. The main argument of the paper is that the narrative of debt trap diplomacy is false. Connectivity of Gwadar with regional countries will be a game changer in the region

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