Minister for Planning, Development and Reform and Interior Professor Ahsan Iqbal Friday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the most important pillar of Belt and Road Initiative and due to commitment and sincerity of both Pakistan and China, the vision of CPEC was fast translating into reality. He made these remarks during his meeting with Vice Chairman of National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) Ning Jizhe, says a message received here from Beijing.
He said work on CPEC projects have seen positive progress over the past five years in Pakistan. Pakistan has achieved 5.8% GDP growth rate which is highest in last eleven years and growing. ‘We have almost overcome energy crisis which was daunting our economy. With growing cooperation of both countries and particularly the inclusion of space technology, the old phrase that our friendship is higher than the Himalayas must be changed. Pakistan and China friendship is now higher than stars’ he added. The minister said the operationalization of energy projects in Sahiwal and Port Qasim is a testament of the high speed with which CPEC projects have been completed. KKH and Multan-Sukkur highway projects are progressing well and contributing significantly towards upgrading Pakistan’s transportation infrastructure. ML1 railways up-gradation project connecting Peshawar to Karachi formed an important part of CPEC’s development portfolio and it would benefit people especially along the route and significantly contribute to the economic and social development of Pakistan with improved and high-speed railway logistics, he added.
Ahsan Iqbal apprised Vice Chairman of NDRC about other CPEC projects including in the fields of infrastructure, energy, Gwadar and Special Economic Zones. He emphasized fast completion of Gwadar projects particularly five million gallons per day water desalination plant and early approval of Khuzdar-Basima and D I Khan -Zhob-Quetta highway projects. —APP