The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) traverses some of the world’s most dangerous terrain. According to the 2016 Global Terrorism Index, Pakistan is among the countries most impacted by terrorism. Within Pakistan, terrorist attacks are concentrated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan, and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where combined casualties account for 76% of the national toll. CPEC’s western route passes through the heart of this unrest, with three out of its four sub-corridors running through the hotspots illustrated above. Since 2010, terrorist incidents and causalities have declined in Pakistan. But insecurity and the drivers behind this violence remain major risks for CPEC’s ambitious projects.
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On November 13, a single Chinese ship bound for Africa left the newly-operational port of Gwadar in Balochistan, Pakistan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, presiding over the inauguration of the facility, described the event as a “watershed” moment. It was the final leg of a journey that started several weeks earlier, when a convoy of Chinese trucks carrying the goods crossed the border into Gilgit-Balistan, 2600 kilometers north. Prime Minister Sharif gave assurances that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), of which Gwadar is the crown jewel, would materialize on schedule.
India in a Reconnecting Eurasia examines the full scope of Indian national interests in the South Caucasus and Central Asia and analyzes the broad outlines of Indian engagement over the coming years. It is part of a six-part CSIS series, “Eurasia from the Outside In,” which includes studies focusing on Turkey, the European Union, Iran, India, Russia, and China.