EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF THE CHINA-PAKISTAN ECONOMIC CORRIDOR (CPEC): A GATEWAY TO REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY AND INTEGRATION WITHIN THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (SCO)
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded as the "Shanghai Five" in 1996, and since becoming the SCO in 2001, it has made significant progress in a number of fields, especially in the areas of security and the economy. At the 17th Astana summit, Pakistan's accession to the SCO has further highlighted the strategic significance of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The aim of this study is to examine the potential features of the CPEC regional connectivity between South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, as well as its numerous positive outcomes for its members. This research is not only a review of the literature, but also an in-depth understanding of the primary sources. Primary data has been gathered while using a qualitative research methodology. Further, a semi-structured interview approach is used in which 20 participants have been interviewed. The study findings suggest that the CPEC is an exceptional economic corridor that sets it apart from other corridors in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), providing promising prospects for SCO member states in terms of regional connectivity, enhanced economic cooperation, and energy corridor development in the future.