CPEC unites nation

IT is indeed a great achievement that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which was initially a bone of contention among federating units, has now become a uniting force for them, as according to Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal the four provinces, FATA, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir are on the same page over this mega project. Talking to media on Wednesday after reviewing the preparation for upcoming 7th Joint Coordination Committee on CPEC, all are satisfied with the progress and their share in CPEC projects.
It is encouraging that instead of voicing concerns on frivolous issues and perceived apprehensions, the provinces are now focusing on inclusion of more and more projects under the umbrella of the great initiative of China as practical implementation of different components of the project have sent a clear message that it is becoming a reality at a fast pace. We have been emphasising in these columns from the very beginning that there should be no illusion as far as successful implementation of the CPEC is concerned because China is known for expeditious accomplishment of all tasks and goals. Funding is also not an issue as China is making available necessary resources for smooth completion of on-going projects and is also showing magnanimity in including additional projects under the CPEC framework. It is now left to the vision and imagination of federal and provincial governments to identify projects and do the home work for their inclusion in the CPEC. It is also satisfying that representatives from private sector investment and business community are being specially invited in the 7th meeting of JCC as the government wants to engage the private sector and business community in materialising the phase of industrial cooperation under CPEC. There have been some apprehensions and misconceptions among the business community of Pakistan that they would stand to lose in the face of aggressive investment, trading and business practices by Chinese. Their participation in the JCC meeting would help address such concerns and now they have an opportunity to associate themselves meaningfully with different aspects of CPEC programmes. They should come up with solid proposals to safeguard interests of the Pakistani business community and how they can become an active partner in development in a cooperative framework.

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