ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday took parliamentary leaders into confidence over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC), saying it will benefit all areas of the country.
In his address at a meeting of representatives of all political parties in Islamabad on Wednesday, the prime minister said that the federal government believes in resolving all national issues through consensus.
The prime minister said that consultation is spirit of democracy and we have always taken the parliament into confidence on all important national issues including economy, security, and terrorism.
Nawaz said that those elements which create hurdles in the development of the country are scared of the economic corridor.
In his presentation, the Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said that the proposed CPEC is aimed at ensuring equal development of all parts of the country under a long-term programme which will be completed in 2030.
The minister said that four working groups have been established in the fields of energy, infrastructure, development of Gwadar port and improvement of transportation. He said that both Pakistan and China have also agreed to form fifth working group on industrial parks and economic zones.
The planning and development minister said that a number of projects with particular focus on energy will be completed under short, medium and long-term plan to ensure rapid and sustainable development of the country.
Moreover, he said that special emphasis will be laid on the development of Gwadar deep sea port and international airport and establishment of road and rail link of Gwadar with the rest of the country and China.
The $46 billion CPEC project was agreed during the recent visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan, and it aims to connect Gwadar port in southwestern Pakistan to China’s northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang, via a network of highways, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas.
The economic corridor is considered central to China–Pakistan relations and will run about 3,000 kilometers from Gwadar to Kashgar.