ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would turn ties between Pakistan and China into a long-term strategic economic partnership.
“Launching of Long-term Plan of CPEC will turn the China-Pakistan bilateral relations into a long-term strategic economic partnership,” the minister while addressing an event for launching of Long Term Plan (LTP) China-Pakistan Economic Corridor 2017-230 along with the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing.
Ahsan Iqbal said the long term plan would expand the scope of cooperation in various new areas, including cooperation in social sectors along with economic fields.
The minister said CPEC was a national plan approved by the both the Chinese and Pakistan government.
“It will effectively match relevant national plans of China as well as Pakistan Vision 2025,” he said.
“This plan is effective until 2030, the short-term projects included will be considered by up to 2020; medium term project up to 2025 and long term projects up to 2030,” he added.
The minister said during President of China Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan in April 2015, the all-weather strategic cooperation partnership between the two countries was enriched with new connotations.
“The two sides take CPEC as the core while prioritizing Gwadar, energy, transport, infrastructure and industrial cooperation which has opened a new chapter of development in the area,” he said.
Ahsan Iqbal said Chinese were doing what the Americans and the Europeans should have done after the end of the Afghan war that evicted the Soviets from Afghanistan.
“That war helped bring down the Berlin Wall, and made Europe safe. But we here in Pakistan are still paying the price for it,” Ahsan Iqbal said.
The minister said China had invested $46 billion when other Countries were not interested to make any investment.
“Investment in difficult time by China had proven that China is time tested and true friend of Pakistan” he added.
The planning and development said through CPEC the dream of producing cheap energy from Thar coal deposits in Sindh was being materialized.
Ahsan Iqbal said rail and road network was being laid across Pakistan to connect Gwadar with China and other parts of the country which would boost regional connectivity and generate economic activities.