Peshawar—Stressing the need for forging national harmony to complete the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal Thursday said the project will change the very destiny of the nation as it was a life line for Pakistan.
Speaking at a seminar on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor at Islamia College University, Ahsan Iqbal called for political cohesion and national unity for sustained economic development under $ 46billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project (CPEC) adding the PML (N) government did not believe on mere hollow slogans and instead was making sincere efforts to put the country on the path of rapid development and progress.
“The project is a Chinese gift for the Pakistani nation and we need national harmony to complete this project of vital importance in time”. Minister for Planning, Development maintained saying infact the said China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project was lifeline project for Pakistan that could steer the country on path of rapid economic growth and sustained development.
Ahsan reminded that China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Turkey made rapid progress and development due to continuation of political national economic policies despite change of governments.
He stressed that CPEC was not the project of PML-N rather the future governments would also continue with it till its completion adding how could a country make progress if the political stability would not persist and every government would start with its new policies.
Planning Minister said competitiveness, political stability, peace and knowledge revolution are required to compete at world level besides sustained economic growth. “I am ready to debate on CPEC with anyone anywhere who is willing to talk on the subject with open mind”. Ahsan offered.
Ahsan Iqbal said lamented that despite long brotherly relations with China, the previous governments in Pakistan could not cash these ties, saying in 2013, Pakistan’s number in term of direct foreign trade investment with China was 16 and within two years (2015) it has reached at first position owing to successful economic and investors’ friendly policies of PMLN Government, he added.
The Minister said out of $46 billion CPEC investment, about $ 35 billion would be spent on energy projects in Pakistan, saying this amount would be utilized through different companies/organizations and private sector and the electricity to be produced from it would be include in the national grid.
The Minister out-rightly dispelled the impression that CPEC western route has been changed, saying it is part of CPEC and initially four lane road would be constructed and later would be extended to six lane Motorway and that Quetta-Gawadar Road would be completed by December this year, he informed. He emphasized that we must focus on education and research to include Pakistan in the list of the developed nations.
APP adds: Ahasan Iqbal said that Pakistan was geographically located on an ideal location that links landlocked Central Asian Republics (CARs), South Asia and China and this prime advantage could only be cashed through enhanced regional connectivity for which CPEC is of immense importance.