ISLAMABAD -UNS : Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said China-Pakistan relations are unique in diplomatic history of the world, which are based on truth, sincerity, mutual co-existence and above all reliability. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) turned the decades-long strategic relations into geo-economic partnership.
Unfortunately, the past regimes didn’t focus on this aspect and put the country on fire when entered into strategic alliances with the world powers. Ahsan Iqbal stated this while speaking as key note speaker at ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary celebrations of diplomatic relations between China and Pakistan at Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC). He said that CPEC is fusion of Vision-2025 and “One Belt One Road” Vision of Pakistan and China and it is operational project of implementation of these visions.
Ahsan Iqbal said that strong commitment of China and Pakistan to CPEC is reflected from the fact that MoU on it translated into 46 billion dollar investment portfolio within one year. It also took China at top foreign investor position in Pakistan from 2013 to 2016. “It is tip of iceberg and more Chinese investment would come in the coming years because the project is stretched to 2030”, Ahsan stated. Minister said that CPEC focuses on infrastructure, Gwadar, Energy and Industrial Zones. Minister said that Quetta-Gwadar section of western route would be operational by December 2016 that will provide Afghanistan and Central Asian access to Gwadar port city.
Ground breaking of D.I.Khan and Burhan section of western route took place and would be completed by June 2018 as per the commitment made with national leadership. Ahsan Iqbal pointed out that due to CPEC for the first time neglected treasure of coal Thar will be utilized for power generation and CPEC will trigger economic activities in far flung areas of Balochistan. Minister said that $35 billion energy component of CPEC would help to overcome energy crisis in Pakistan as well as upgrading the power transmission & distribution system in the country.
He said that Gwadar component of CPEC would not only develop Gwadar Seaport, International Airport, Expressway but would also focus on social sector by constructing hospital and technical & vocational training institute in the port city. Federal Minister brushed aside the propaganda that CPEC is one province-centric and said that it would benefit all parts and regions of the country equally.
He said that human settlements and economic activities on Gwadar-Quetta section of western route has started generating even before the completion of road and pointed out that in energy sector, Sindh and Balochistan would receive the highest number of investment. Minister identified political stability, social solidarity, sound economic policies and reforms as the key of success of China and said that Pakistan must learn from China in this regard to sustain the momentum of growth. He said that twenty first century belongs to Asia, which will increase its share in global economy from $17 trillion to $174 trillion by 2025.
In this economic race, We can’t afford to be left behind. We need to develop world class competitiveness by focussing on productivity, quality and innovation. On this occasion, speakers paid rich tribute to Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform for playing a pivotal role in CPEC. Masood Khan, former ambassador of Pakistan in China particularly commended Ahsan Iqbal when he credited him for working earnestly for implementation of CPEC.
Federal information Minister Pervez Rasheed said tht CPEC would bring the peoples of entire region close to each other and said that said that this corridor would carry peace and harmony in the region instead of guns and weapons. Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Sun Weidong, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry also spoke.