KARACHI, Nov 5 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning and
Development, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said social and
economic activities have started in Balochistan along with the
roads being constructed there as part of China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC).
Under CPEC, two international standard roads are being
constructed– from Gwadar to Quetta, and from Gwadar to Khuzdar
to Ratodero, he said.
” I was pleased to see, the local people have started setting up
hotels, shops and houses along the completed portions of the CPEC
routes linking Gwadar with China. This corridor shall bring social and
economic change in Balochistan,” he expressed his satisfaction while
addressing a seminar on CPEC here.
The seminar titled ” China Pakistan Economic Corridor: A Road
to Peace and Prosperity of the Region” was organised by an NGO ,
Rabita Forum International (RFI) and presided over by its Chairman
RFI, Nusrat Mirza. It was attended by a large number of students from
different universities and the teachers.
RFI Chairman , Nusrat Mirza said the seminar was organised to
create awareness among the students about the importance and prospects
of CPEC, and what the role they could play in transforming CPEC into a
big success for the country.
The universities would have to prepare groups of professionals to
meet the demands of the projects/activities emerging during and after
execution of this very important international plan of CPEC, Nusrat
Mirza said.
The Federal Minister for Planning and Development assured that
CPEC would be equally beneficial for all the provinces. Like Gwadar,
he continued, Gilgit-Baltistan would be gateway to CPEC.
46 billion dollars CPEC would prove a game changer for entire
region. It would interlink South Asia, Central Asia and Europe , and
open billions of dollars market for Pakistan and other regional
countries, he said.
He elaborated that CPEC plan is divided into four parts : 1)
setting up the most modern port of Gwadar which would increase our
trade manifold, 2) strengthening of energy sector by adding more than
10,400 MW to the system and upgradation of the transmission system, 3)
development of infrastructure based on three routes linking China with
all the provinces of Pakistan, 4) industrialization mainly in Gwadar
under Pak-China partnership and cooperation.
He rejected the impression and reports that the original
plan/alignment of CPEC was altered.
” Not a single inch change was made with CPEC,” he asserted.
He also refuted the propaganda and claimed that under CPEC ,
Pakistan got loan from China at the possible lowest rate of 1.3
He reminded that by convening All Parties Conference on CPEC, the
Government succeeded in addressing the apprehensions shown by all the
main political parties of the country.
Now, he reassured, CPEC would be successfully completed even the
any other party comes to power in the next general elections.
The Minister said CPEC was a product of the two visions :
Pakistan’s vision was to establish integrity and enhance its linkage
in the region and with the world. Whereas, China wanted connectivity
up to the West under one road-one belt concept.
He appreciated the gesture shown by the President of China on the
occasion of inauguration CPEC during his visit to Pakistan.
” China wants a community of shared destiny with Pakistan,” he said
adding that it meant China wants to share prosperity with Pakistan.
Prof.Ahsan Iqbal informed the participants that after
inauguration of CPEC, the world including the Western states have
declared Pakistan as the safe haven for billions of dollars of Chinese
On this occasion, the Minister mentioned that during his recent
visit to United States, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif signed
agreement on US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor which would benefit
Pakistan a lot in producing Ph.Ds in different disciplines.
We could have up to 10,000 Ph.Ds with the support of USA
universities under this agreement, he added.
For enhancing the quality of education in the country, the
Government had enhanced the grant to Higher Education Commission (HEC)
to Rs 78 billion from Rs 48 billion.
He said that under the vision 2025, we would rise Pakistan among
top ten economies of the world.
All such goals would depend on the quality of efforts and the use
of brain instead of muscles, he said.
He said these days every country is confronted to global
competition and challenges. The countries in the world were on cut-
throat competition with each other and at the same time , they were
alive and taking care of global changes and demands.
“No country can survive in isolation in the era of
globalization,” he remarked.
He called upon the students to prepare themselves for shouldering
the responsibilities of the country amid the fast changing world and
Former ambassador to China Masood Khan also spoke on the
importance of China Pakistan Economic Corridor for the country,
the region and the world.
Both dignitaries also answered queries of the participants; most
of them were university students.