FEDERAL Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, who contributed a lot in the evolution of the game-changer initiative of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and implementation of various projects under its framework during previous tenure of PML(N) Government, has once again become instrumental to gather the lost momentum of this vital initiative.
He has chaired numerous meetings on issues relating to CPEC and convened yet another one on Friday to review the security arrangements for CPEC projects, issuing instructions to make it a monthly feature to ensure that there is a safe and secure environment for CPEC.
In normal circumstances, there should be no security issue for CPEC or other projects being implemented with active collaboration of our great friend China given the magnitude of goodwill that exists among people of Pakistan for the Government and people of China.
People of Pakistan are, in fact, indebted to China for taking extraordinary interest in socio-economic development of the country as projects completed with Chinese assistance are playing a crucial role in Pakistan’s economy.
However, it is an open secret that some foreign powers are hatching conspiracies to create roadblocks in the way of smooth execution of CPEC projects from the day one and a number of attacks have been carried out targeting Chinese manpower working on different projects.
CPEC is a purely an economic initiative and there was absolutely no justification for propaganda or disruptive activities but it is obvious all these are motivated by the desire of some powers to deny fruits of development to the people of Pakistan.
Under these circumstances, foolproof security for CPEC projects assumes critical importance and with this in view special security arrangements have been devised with the active involvement of the Pakistan Army.
As security has also become a matter of concern for China, the decision to hold monthly review meetings is a step in the right direction as this would take stock of the existing situation and plan for the future on the basis of intelligence input.
We would, however, recommend that apart from security, regular meetings should also be held to review other issues and problems that impede smooth implementation of different projects.
This is because the progress of implementation was pathetic during the tenure of the PTI Government and the new Government will have to work hard to make amends for the lost time.