Accelerate CPEC projects

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THE first phase of multibillion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) proved to be very important one for Pakistan to address energy shortage and fill the gap in the road infrastructure. As a result of this, today, the country has sufficient power generation capacity to meet demand of its domestic and industrial consumers whilst a vast network of motorways and expressways has changed the entire landscape increasing the prospects of Pakistan becoming the hub of regional trade and economic activities.
Despite commitment on both sides, the second phase of the CPEC which will see rapid industrialization in Pakistan and cooperation in important sectors such as agriculture is yet to take up the requisite momentum. Chairing a meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again directed all concerned ministries to set goals for schemes and ensure inter-governmental coordination for early conclusion of phase two of the mega corridor project. Given the economic challenges faced by Pakistan, the second phase of CPEC is very important to take forward the country on the path of sustainable development and create thousands of new job opportunities for the youth. Therefore, the government must give priority to the establishment of special economic zones with provision of all the facilities there so that the Chinese friends can relocate their industries there without any further delay. In addition, other friendly countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Malaysia, the UAE, UK and US should also be encouraged to make their investments in them. One other project that has the potential to trigger economic activity in the country is the long delayed upgradation of ML-1 from Karachi to Peshawar. It is important that our authorities engage more closely with China in order to kick start work on all these delayed projects. We will also suggest the Prime Minister to regularly monitor the progress on the CPEC-related projects and give timelines to their cabinet members for their timely execution. Doing so will also help counter the negative propaganda unleashed by different quarters against this game changer project.