China’s soft power and diplomatic success is attributed to the visionary leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. China realized the secret to emerge as a global power, as early as late 1970s, when it decided to follow the policy of ‘soft power’ by focusing on development and economic connectivity rather than meddling in and policing other State’s internal affairs. Consistency and perseverance in terms of its outreach have defined Chinese vision. Launched in 2013, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), is a development and investment initiative focusing on ‘shared destiny’. Originally envisioned for connecting East Asia and Europe through physical infrastructure, BRI now encapsulates Africa, Oceania, as well as Latin America, significantly broadening China’s economic and political influence. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a pilot project of BRI and a framework for regional connectivity. It has the potential to positively impact countries to the west of Pakistan including Afghanistan, Iran and broader Central Asia. It envisions connectivity through physical infrastructure, exchange of goods, energy projects to fuel commercial activities, integration of the region, development and harmony. Infrastructure development and energy projects make up the major portion of the CPEC initiative. A network of roads and railway lines are foreseen to ensure connectivity throughout the country via twenty-four (24) projects. A few of the transport infrastructures have been completed while others are in the pipeline. There are twenty-one (21) energy related projects under CPEC, of which fourteen (14) have been completed. These projects vary in terms of their power generation technology and capacity. Built on the river Jehlum and bordering district Rawalpindi of Punjab and district Kotli of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, the 72o MW Karot Hydropower Project is a pioneer project with many firsts. It is the first large-scale hydropower investment and construction project of the CPEC and the BRI. It accredits itself to be the first hydropower project with investment from Silk Road Fund since its inception. Ground breaking ceremony of the project took place in Jan. 2016 and became operational in June 2022. The project holds a record for the fastest financing closure in a time period of only one year (Feb. 2017). It is the fourth of the five HPPs to develop along the River Jehlum. This project is significant for Pakistan for seven reasons: enhanced valuation of surrounding land; job creation and human resource development; transfer of technology; meeting energy needs of Pakistan; powering industrial zones; strengthening Pakistan’s renewable energy base; and setting up right precedence for other renewable energy projects. One, strategically located on the borders of Punjab and AJK, the project has added value to the surrounding area. It has kick started real estate development and contributes to the GDP growth rate. By initiating commercial activities, the project has attracted people from nearby areas which will have a cascading impact on the lives and livelihood of the locals. Two, post COVID-19, people lost their jobs, which worsened the case for people seeking employment from far flung areas with no industrial base. During the construction of this project, a total of around 5500 jobs were created. It has also created indirect jobs, such as people running businesses to feed and support the lives of those employed under the project, ranging from transport to setting up markets of basic commodities. Human resource development is an added benefit associated with job creation. Since the project has been built on the foundations of modern technological needs, people employed will develop requisite skills and expertise to excel in their jobs. Three, the project has been developed under the Build, Own, Operate, Transfer (BOOT) model which means it has access to a large pool of talent, shared knowledge and resources, and low building and operational costs. Consequently, Pakistan will benefit from the project in terms of technology transfer. Four, Pakistan has been facing a perpetual energy crisis with an average energy shortfall ranging from 6000-7000 MW. The project will help Pakistan meet a portion of its energy demands. Five, under the ambit of CPEC, 11 Special Economic Zones are being developed across the country. One of the projects in the pipeline is the ICT Model Industrial Zone. Located in Islamabad, Karot Hydropower Project can fuel the zone. Six and Seven, the project can help strengthen Pakistan Hydropower Generation capacity, and set right precedence for hydropower generation projects for CPEC and BRI. As one of the most climate change prone countries in the World, Pakistan directly needs investment in power projects which are renewable and environment friendly. This project is vital for stabilizing climate change and achieving net zero carbon emissions. CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan and investments like Karot Hydropower Project are crucial for the energy security of the country. Investment in renewable energy backed by strong CSR policies can help make a cleaner and better Pakistan. The writer can be reached at email@example.com.