- Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, has instructed Gwadar Development Authority’s schools to start teaching Chinese language for local population
- China has also set up a major vocational center in Pakistan’s port city of Gwadar, which will provide training to locals enabling them to get jobs in CPEC projects
KARACHI: The Government of Balochistan and Chinese authorities have started taking initiatives to provide the local population with work in Gwadar’s job market.
Gwadar, a Pakistani port city, acquired immense importance because of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). However, the local population is considered one of the poorest in Balochistan, the largest Pakistani province.
“Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has instructed the administration of Gwadar Development Authority schools to start Chinese language classes for the local population as soon as possible,” Balochistan Minister for Information and Higher Education Mir Zahoor Buledi told Arab News.
The purpose of these classes, Buledi said, is to enable the local population to learn Chinese to get jobs in CPEC projects.
“Our government aims to provide the maximum benefits of the CPEC projects to local people, and starting Chinese language classes is one of the several steps we will take to ensure that the people of Balochistan are the first ones to benefit,” he said.
Ahmed Iqbal Baloch, a senior analyst, appreciating the initiative of Chief Minister Balochistan, said it was the basic right of the local population to get jobs first, which is for the provincial government to ensure.
“The Chinese are too attached to their language and barely 2 percent may know English or any other language. Either the Chinese will have to learn Urdu or the people of Pakistan will have to learn Chinese to communicate with the Chinese working on different projects (in Pakistan),” Baloch told Arab News.
“Communication is must. Without it, you can’t work with people speaking a language that you don’t know,” Baloch argued.
He said Gwadar’s free zone spreading over 22 acres of land had mainly Chinese workers. “If the locals are to join them, they will have to communicate, and for communication there needs to be a language which both may understand,” he said.
The Chinese are also learning Urdu for better communication in carrying out the CPEC projects, he said. “Each year Beijing University is teaching Urdu to hundreds of Chinese students.”
“During my last visit to Beijing, I saw Chinese learning Urdu and Balochi languages,” Balochistan Economic Forum’s President, Sardar Shaukat Popalzai, told Arab News.
Several teachers from Gwadar and other districts that are hosting CPEC routes have been sent to China to learn Mandarin. “Once they are back, they will start teaching Chinese in different schools of the province,” said Popalzai.
But it is not only language, Baloch said, that is essential for getting jobs in CPEC projects. “You must be skilled in jobs and for this a vocational training is also mandatory,” he said.
China has already set up a major vocational center in Gwadar which will provide training to the local population to enable them to get jobs in CPEC projects in the city, said Popalzai.
“The Balochistan government should expand Chinese language centers and vocational programs so that the maximum number of people from this backward but highly resourceful province may be benefited,” Baloch concludes.