ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has dispelled the impression of change in any route under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In a meeting held in Islamabad on Thursday, the minister said that there was no existence of any proposed route before July 5, 2013 when the initial planning of the project began.
The minister said that the CPEC is not only a road network but it is focused on development of four sectors to generate economic activities throughout the country in a big way.
Iqbal said that major components of the corridor include development of Gwadar deep sea port, energy generation projects, development of industry and establishment of new economic zones both in China and Pakistan.
The federal minister said that no new route has been proposed under the corridor while the focus will be on improving and rebuilding existing routes in the country to ultimately link them with Gwadar port, which has to bear the load of economic and trade activities in the future.
The minister mentioned four routes which have to be constructed including Gwadar-Surab-Quetta-Deral Ismail Khan Road, Gawadar-Sukkur Road, Karachi-Lahore Motorway and Islamabad-Mianwali-Dera Ghazi Khan-Jaccobabad Road. He said that all these links will be developed under a long-term programme.
Ahsan Iqbal said that four joint working groups are already working on long-term projects under the project while a new working group for establishment of economic zones will be formed shortly to identify new sites for the purpose.