The government of Pakistan is expected to pass legislation that would put the Pakistan Army at the helm of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, according to a study by Nikkei Asia (CPEC). The bill is reported to be passed in December 2020 and will revert from a civilian body to the military control of Xi Jinping’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative.
Despite strong opposition by prominent lawmakers in the country, the CPEC Authority Bill 2020 was passed earlier this month. Parliamentary Committee Chairman Junaid Akbar officially recommended that the new bill be put to a final vote before Parliament in the second week of December 2020.
The proposed law seeks to reinstate the CPEC Authority which since the expiry of the presidential order in May, has been defunct.
The law would grant the Armed Forces the autonomy to supervise the CPEC projects if passed. It is announced that the Ministry of Planning and Development will pass power to the CPEC Authority, headed by Asim Saleem Bajwa. The retired general will report to Prime Minister Imran Khan directly. In addition, as the co-chair of the current Pak-China Joint Committee, Bajwa will replace Asad Umar.