Pakistan has embarked upon an ambitious program of economic cooperation with China under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the six economic corridors that would connect China with the rest of the world. In the first phase that began in 2015, energy and infrastructure projects along with the development of Gwadar were focused upon. Almost USD 27 billion worth projects have either been completed or in different stages of completion. CPEC is now entering its next phase in which industrial cooperation, trade and market access, agriculture development and poverty alleviation, and socio economic development would be given high priority. However, it is hardly realized that our regional cooperation efforts are not limited to China only. Pakistan is either a member or currently participating in SAARC, ECO, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and CAREC. Some of these organizations have been in existence is one form or the other for several decades. However, a dispassionate analysis would indicate that the desired benefits from these regional cooperation initiatives have not yet translated into meaningful results. It is against this background that we should examine as to how CAREC and CPEC can help Pakistan in meeting its development goals. Let me emphasize that it is only when there is a fit between the goals of these regional organizations and the country’s own national strategies that there would be positive net gains. Therefore, a win-win situation or positive-sum game rather than zero-sum game should be the outcome of these efforts.

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