CPEC to change fate of Balochistan province: Ahsan Iqbal

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Ahsan Iqbal reaches Beijing on two-day visit

ISLAMABAD, Sep 22 (APP): Terming development of Balochistan as top priority of the government, Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Prof Ahsan Iqbal said on Thursday that the US$ 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would change the fate of Balochistan province.

“The energy had been given preference in the projects being completed under the CPEC initiative,” he made these remarks while addressing students and faculty members at Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar.

Out of US$ 35 billion energy projects, Sindh province would get US$ 11 billion while Balochistan would get energy projects worth US$ 9 billion, he added.

He informed the audience that a record funds were allocated for the universities in Balochistan.

Ahsan Iqbal said, Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology would be made number one university in the province.

While laying foundation stone of development project worth Rs 800 million, he said, new administrative bloc, academic bloc, hostel and laboratories would be constructed.

He said, those who wanted to make CPEC controversial were not in favour of progress and well-being of Baloch people.

The Minister said, Gwadar to Quetta and Gwadar to Khuzdar roads would be completed by December 2016, adding the under-developed areas of Balochistan would be connected with the country after completion of these highways.

Ahsan Iqbal said, the country had been put on the path of development and “We can make Pakistan an Asian Tiger through peace, solidarity and hard work.”

He said, no one could snatch hope, spirit and determination from Pakistani nation.

The Minister said, the Vision 2025 was a project to convert the country into knowledge based economy, adding, “We are determined to convert our universities into innovation factories.”

He said, Balochistan was ignored in the past but now funds were being released on priority for project being carried out in Balochistan.

The PML-N government under able leadership of Sardar Sanaullah Zehri was making new records of service of masses, he added.

Pakistan’s economy was in take-off position and nobody would be allowed to prevent it, he said.

Ahsan Iqbal said, the country would be make self-sufficient in energy production by the year 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, Voice Chancellor Brig. Muhammad Amin said, the development package of Rs 800 million was biggest in the history of the university which was set up in 1994.

Besides provincial ministers Sardar Aslam Mengal, Maulana Qamaruddin MNA and local elders, a large number of students warmly welcomed the minister.