PR No.191 Islamabad

Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal today said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) offers equal opportunities to all the provinces and regions of the country to develop economically and socially. Government would honour all the commitments it made with the top political leadership of the country in All Parties Conference (APC) in May this year on CPEC. It is not one road project, but, a multi-sectoral framework covering energy, infrastructure, Gawadar and industrial sector in the country.

Minister for Planning & Development stated this while speaking to a delegation of parliamentary leaders of various political parties in KPK provincial assembly headed by provincial speaker Asad Qaisar. He briefed the provincial parliamentarians extensively on CPEC and assured them that federal government would not discriminate with any province or region in terms of development process through this mega development project. Misconceptions about CPEC were spread due to lack of information. National political leadership was taken on board in order to clear the mist viz-a-viz CPEC projects.

Ahsan Iqbal said that national political leadership also extended its cooperation to CPEC when they supported it wholeheartedly. In this very context, the Western route would be completed on priority basis and proposals for industrial zones and parks are being developed with the consultation of provinces.

Ahsan Iqbal stated, “650 kms missing link on Western route would be completed by December 2016. The significance of the project is reflected from the fact that thirteen FC personnel have embraced martyrdom while constructing the Western route s in Balochistan. The construction of missing link on Western route has started producing a transformational change in the area in sections have been completed.

Ahsan Iqbal noted that CPEC should be seen in its real context because Chinese government is not extending $46 billion grant to Pakistan. Bulk of projects relate to energy sector, which are in investment mode, where Chinese companies are investing in energy projects after carrying out the technical feasibility and economic viability of these projects.

He stated, “We should take CPEC in national perspective which can give us jump start in the age of competition. Pakistan badly needs global investment. CPEC has proved a boost to Pakistan to develop economically and socially. CPEC will take the country from geo-strategic areas to geo-economic orbit.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the importance of CPEC for Pakistan can be gauged from the fact that it made our enemies restless. We should understand that if our enemy is publicly opposing CPEC, then it is vital for us not to make it controversial and show unity.

Ahsan Iqbal said that provinces have to play a key role to make CPEC successful in terms of ensuring the security of Chinese engineers on CPEC projects as well as providing them logistics and ensuring acquisition of land for these projects.

He said that federal government attaches great importance to development of KPK and CPEC would help to uplift the province’s backward areas socially and economically.

Minister assured the KPK parliamentary delegation that federal government is ready to remove all the reservations about CPEC for its smooth implementation.

Asad Qaisar, Speaker KPK Assembly, on this occasion said that they have a positive approach about CPEC and want this mega development project to be completed in the stipulated time frame.