CPEC’s western route

83

The country has started reaping benefits of the projects being executed under multi-billion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and it will be unfair not to appreciate efforts being put in by Chairman CPEC Authority Lt Gen Asim Bajwa (Retd) to accelerate work on various projects under the mega project that is envisaged to change economic landscape of not only Pakistan but the whole region.

Speaking to businessmen at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Asim Bajwa said western alignment routes of the CPEC would be completed in around three years.

Giving further details, he said work on western alignment is underway on route from Islamabad to Dera Ismail Khan and from Dera Ismail Khan to Zhob.

Indeed under the CPEC, Pakistan with the cooperation of Chinese friends has developed state of the art road infrastructure in the form of motorways and expressways, which has improved connectivity within the country.

As regards the western route it will go through remote areas where poverty ratio is higher and industrial development is very low.

In this backdrop, the completion of this alignment will change fate of those areas and bring prosperity in the lives of people there.

We are confident that western route will also be completed within the given timelines. The second phase of CPEC particularly focusing on agriculture and rapid industrialisation is very important for Pakistan to move towards self-reliance and come out of the debt trap.

We therefore will stress that engagement level should further be increased with China to uplift these two important sectors of the economy.

Progress has been made on establishment of Special Economic Zones and it is important that all facilities are extended there to attract investment from China as well as other parts of the world.

During talks with the leadership of other countries, we need to extensively brief them about these SEZs and the benefits they can accrue by wooing their investors and companies to invest in them.

At the same time, we must remain alert to disruptive element that misses no opportunity to hurt this mega project.