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Saturday, December 14th, 2019

CPEC ‘as important as atomic programme’

by November 29, 2016 General

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof Ahsan Iqbal has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is not less important than Pakistan’s atomic programme so we must not do politics just like we avoided politicising atomic programme.He was addressing a seminar on “CPEC: Opportunities, Priorities and Challenges” jointly organised by Punjab University CPEC Study Group and a private organisation on Monday. PU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, senior journalists including Munno Bhai, Sohail Warraich, Tayyaba Zia Cheema, Wasif Nagi, President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries Abdul Basit Khan, Chairman TEVTA Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Convener CPEC Study Group Dr Hafiz Zafar Ahmed, faculty members and a large number of students were present on the occasion.Addressing the ceremony, Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC was aimed at making economy of the country invincible but some elements were doing politics over CPEC unnecessarily. He said that all the provincial chief ministers had supported CPEC and all the provinces would benefit from the project.The minister said that South Asia, China and Central Asia were the engines of growth and Pakistan was located in the centre.He said that we would utilise Pakistan’s geo-strategic advantage for her geo-economic advantage.He said the duration of whole CPEC project was from 2014 to 2030 in phases. He said that the short term projects would be completed by 2020, mid-term programs would be completed by 2025 and long term projects would be completed by 2030.Ahsan said that we would turn Gawadar into a model port city like Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.He said that airport, technical university, hospitals etc would be built at Gawadar. He said that energy projects would also be set up at Gawadar. He said after completion of energy projects, surplus energy would be produced and the government had vowed to provide electricity at low cost.He said that we had also enhanced portfolio of energy production and we would benefit from coal reservoirs of Pakistan and produce electricity at low cost. He said that the infrastructure of all the four provinces and Gilgit Baltistan would be improved.He said that the government had recently completed construction of 650km roads linking Gawadar.The minister said that it used to take two days to reach Gawadar from Quetta and now it was just an 8-hour travel. He said that the exploiters in Balochistan were fearing that development of infrastructure might not improve socio-economic conditions of common people, which would empower people and give them liberty.Ahsan said that political disability jeopardised investment so we could not afford political instability in the country.He said that we must foil India’s conspiracy of imposing war by adopting a wise strategy because we want peaceful relations with our neighbors.Addressing the ceremony, the speakers said that CPEC was now a reality and the collaborations between Pakistani and Chinese companies must be promoted. They said that the volume of trade through CPEC was estimated at 2.5 trillion dollars.They said that this was the purpose of the universities to interact with the governments and societies and PU was performing this job.© Pakistan Press International, source Asianet-Pakistan