The public was sceptical, the opposition unsure, but the government promised that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could potentially be the economic face-lift this country so desperately needed. The smaller provinces had their reservations, but the government cleared them up. Or so we thought.

Various senators continue to make noises over their ‘reservations’ (what these might still be, not many care to articulate) and how the government has been so secretive about the project, even going so far as to say that the material and workforce imported from China was damaging local industries. Is this all genuine concern, or engineered to undermine this realistic chance of development, only for cheap point scoring?

As far as the workforce and production material is concerned, let us not forget that this project passes through this country, but is as much a (maybe even more) Chinese venture, as it is Pakistani. China is not looking to give Pakistan a hand-out and naturally wants to make money off CPEC. This is a pragmatic move, and an unavoidable one from our perspective. Bringing the question of provincial bias even when it has been debunked time and again by the government does not even deserve a response anymore.

The fact that a government has to understand and respond to the will of the people is unquestionable. But at the same time, there is a line between keeping the public informed and seeking its opinion in every small decision made concerning matters of state. The idea of governance stems from the representatives right to choose the best option for the individuals that voted for them. The government cannot be expected to turn to the people to micro-manage each and every aspect of a mega-project, such as where the materials come from. The opposition must also remember that this is not only an economic issue, but one of national security, and publicising every minute detail is only counterproductive.

There is national consensus on CPEC being instrumental for the future development of this country. For the rewards to be reaped, we must exercise patience, not only in terms of waiting for its completion, but also in letting the government do its job. Looking to nit-pick and punch holes in terms of how many locals have been employed and so on will only cause unnecessary delays. The next two years are crucial for the future of this country. For once, let’s all stand united until all of Pakistan is connected, and is ushered onto the path of development. In all other matters, we can continue to be at each other’s throats.