CPEC going on fast pace, to take Sino-Pak relations to new horizons

By Seema Mir


China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) going on a fast pace will not only open the new vistas in Sino-Pak relations but, will also turn the decades old friendship into centuries based one.
CPEC, a multi-phased (Three-phases) valued at dollars 62 billion, is intended to rapidly modernise Pakistani infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects and special economic zones.
Moreover, CPEC is not only the name of roads and networks, but it is a lever that will transform the multiple sectors ranging from economy to health and education to various others.
Out of its three phases, first one comprises power projects (Hydel,thermal and coal) and highways.
Its second going to be started in March 2018 with full momentum on ML1-a more than 1800 kms railway track from Peshawar to Karachi via Rawalpindi, Jhelum, Gujranwala, Lahore, Bahawalpur, Rohri, Hyderabad and Karachi.
ML-1 worth more than 8 billion US dollars is further divided into complete overhauling including dualization of the track and modernisation of system with signals, upgradation with new passenger and cargo trains.
The speed of ML-1 tracks will be 160-170 kms per hour which is at the moment about 100 kms /hour.
Further, CPEC with its third phase of industrialization about to start will help Pakistan enter the arena of industrial countries of the world.
Federal Minister for Interior and Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal has said this while commenting on the progress of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He said pace of work was satifactory and earlier completion of CPEC stood among the priorities of the government.
He said the CPEC would cast far -reaching positive effects on national economy as well as that of the whole region.
He said the Western Route of the CPEC was being actualised with high construction standards under which motorways and expressways were being built throughout the country.
And, Ahsan Iqbal said ,Hakla -D.I.Khan section of CPEC will also be completed by the end of this year.
It is pertinent to mention that 120 km long Havelian-Thakot expressway is located in the North of the country and it is an important section of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
This project passes through Havelian, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Shinkiari and Thakot,
Construction of six state of the art tunnels having total length of 9 kilometres is also included in scope of the project. The project is being completed at a cost of rupees 134 billion and hopefully will be completed shortly.
Senator Mushahid Hussain, chairman Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor stated in the report of the committee “OBOR currently involves over 65 countries, comprises 70% of the world population, 55% of the GDP and nearly 25% of the global trade. Hundreds of billion US dollars are expected to be spent for infrastructure on the “One Belt One Road” project in the coming five years
As CPEC envisages industrialisation between 2017 and 2030 so more than 20 specialized Economic zones will be established under Industrial phase of CPEC and Chinese entrepreneurs will also also be given opportunity to set up their industrial units of various sectors like textile and manufacturing.
After the establishment of these proposed Economic zones there will be an unbelievable Industrial revolution in Pakistan. Through industrialization not only domestic needs will be fulfilled but Pakistan will be able to export and millions of people will be provided employment, former Chairman Khyber Pukhtoonkhaw Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC) And a renowned industrialist Ghulam Dastghir said.
As CPEC encompasses Pakistan from Gwadar to Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir; Gwadar is a gift ofGod to Pakistan as
Gwadar is a deep hammer shaped port rare in the world, Federal Minister ports and Shipping Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said this while talking to APP.
According to documents available regarding development of an free economic zone in Gwadar, one of the world’s largest free economic zone is being developed in Gwadar comprising a total area of about 1000 hectares and it will be completed in four phases till 2030. This Zone will attraction billions of US dollar foreign investment in all sectors from petroleum industries to manufacturing to processing zones. The construction of initial area includes a few projects ; infrastructure, business centers, trade exhibition hall, cold storage, warehouse and fishery processing center etc as part of the first phase of this mega economic zone.
Hundreds of Kilometers long highways are being constructed in the province of Baluchistan which will provide guarantee to economic revolution in the province besides extending job opportunities to more than 50% youth (skilled and non-skilled) of the province.
Its capacity is to cater millions of tons and more than 100 berths can be handled there without its maintainence even the world’s largest ship can be handled there, he said.
Success of CPEC project will lead to the success of proposed One Belt One Road (OBOR) which will provide not only regional connectivity but also the inter continental connectivity specially from Asia to Africa and Europe, Deputy Chairman Senate Maulana Abdul Ghaffoor Haidery.
Opening of two Chinese Banks’ branches in Islamabad i.e Industrial Cooperative bank of China (ICBC) and Bank of China will realize the decades old dream in the Economic sector, Mr. Fan of a Chinese company commented.
Bank of China has started its operation in Islamabad on January 1, 2018.
Former chairman Pakistan Bar Council Muhammad Ramzan Ch said as CPEC was not a matter of years and decades, it is going to be that of centuries so there should be crystal clear laws without any ambiguity regarding the process of bidding and execution of projects.
Chaudry Ramzan also suggested a well-defined and an effective monitoring system for CPEC jointly by both the countries should be introduced to ensure the credibility and transparency of the multi-billiondollars project.
He said such projects come once in a life time of the countries so “in this case we should take advantage of the Chinese’expertise in the fields of infrastructure and industrialisation in which they are excelling.”
The CPEC project, once completed will transform the whole Pakistan from Gwadar to Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.