The Perspective of Native People Regarding Developmental Projects of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Gwadar, Balochistan (Article)
Keywords:CPEC, Development, Displacement, Exclusion, Fishermen, Perception
Gwadar’s economic potential has become a centre of debate in national and international media. However, less discussed are the people living there, especially the native communities who are mostly dependent on fishing as a source of livelihood. This study has taken a peoplecentric approach by employing qualitative methods with the aim to explore the perspectives of the native people of Gwadar regarding the impacts of various projects related to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Fieldwork was carried out in Gwadar city to collect data from various groups of local people. The findings reveal that the local people had legitimate expectations of improvement in their lives and livelihoods from CPEC projects but, over the last decades, these expectations were not met. As a result, the unmet expectations have given rise to concerns and frustrations. Most of the local people appreciated the development of infrastructure in Gwadar; however, they have been feeling discriminated against and see themselves excluded from the development process. Policy measures have been suggested to make CPEC more meaningful for the local people of Gwadar and to (re)gain their trust and confidence in the government.