Pakistan, Russia discuss importance of regional connectivity

ISLAMABAD, May 23 (APP): Minister for Planning,
Development and Reforms, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said that Pakistan would determine its future by following Chinese model of achieving economic development through polity stability, social harmony and solidarity, right economic policies and built in process of reforms.

Speaking at an event titled ‘Symbol of immortal
friendship icon of iron brotherhood’ hosted by the Ministry
of Planning and development in connection with 65th
anniversary of Pak China diplomatic relations here, he said that China achieved a remarkable economic development in decades by adopting these principles.

“We must learn this lesson if we want to realize the
dream of development,” he added.

Ahsan Iqbal said, “Allah Almighty has given us an
opportunity in shape of China Pakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC), adding, Pakistan would become a modern state after the completion of this vital initiative.

He said, in 2013, Pakistan was facing long hours of
loadshiding and security issues but after signing of CPEC and its implementation, the situation had changed.

Now, the foreign investors were keen to invest, the
foreign reserve touching US$ 21 billion mark and all the
economic indicators showing positive results.

Appreciating Chinese leadership’s vision and commitment,
he said, China reposed trust into Pakistan and its people and
announced US$ 46 billion CPEC framework in the time of need.

Ahsan Iqbal termed the CPEC a bilateral project which
sought to establish regional connectivity, adding, it would
provide connectivity to large market of three billion people.
He said, CPEC was not just roads, port, bridges and
infrastructure, but it would integrate Pak China
economies for benefit of the people of two friendly

The Minister informed that out of US$ 46 billion, US$ 35
billion had been earmarked to overcome energy shortage.
Terming the CPEC a sustainable project, he said, it
would not benefit any particular region or group of society,
but it would be beneficial for the entire country.

He said, the work on the Western route was at fast pace
while Gwadar port would be linked with Quetta by end of this

The ground breaking of D.I.Khan to Burhan section had
been carried out to provide a short connectivity besides work on Multan Sukkur of Peshawar Karachi motorway.

The Minister said that Thar Coal deposits were sufficient to
produce 5000 MW electricity for next 400 years.

He also mentioned about LNG Terminal, new transmission
line and said huge allocations had been made for higher
education and setting up universities in FATA, Zhob and

Commenting on Pak China diplomatic relations, Ahsan
Iqbal said a change had occurred between Pak China relations as it had entered from traditional geo strategic to geo economic ties.

He said the past government could not transform
political relations into the economic bonds but now China was number one investor in Pakistan.

He said the CPEC had brought quantitative and
qualitative change in the relations of two neighbouring countries.

Addressing the audience on the occasion, Special
Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Tariq Fatimi
said, CPEC was not a mere corridor but it was a concept, idea and vision that transformed existing excellent relations into whole new world.

He said people of two countries were committed to work
together to bring about peace and stability in the region
through economic uplift.

He said the diplomatic relations of two countries had
touched new heights.