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Lahore

May 20, 2017

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‘Shahbaz speed’ revisited in OBOR moot

‘Shahbaz speed’ revisited in OBOR moot

China’s friendship with Pakistan is without any doubt deeper than oceans, higher than Himalayas and sweeter than honey (and to quote Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, ‘stronger than steel’) as has been proved with the active collaboration of China with Pakistan through CPEC and other joint projects which spell prosperity for the entire region.

A lot many prospects lie in this partnership for Punjab as well given the fact that the driving force behind this partnership is Shahbaz Sharif whose passion for work and speed is acknowledged even by China’s top and middle-tier functionaries as was heard from the horse’s mouth by this scribe on a number of occasions, including a visit of Pakistani media team to China on the invitation of MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Beijing.

It is a fact that Shahbaz Sharif has provided a fresh impetus to the ongoing Pak-China collaboration, especially in the 33 to 34 billion dollar energy projects of Punjab that include Bhikki, Haveli Bahadar Shah, Sahiwal and Baloki power plants.

Going through the papers released by the Punjab Information Department, it was revealed that during his recent visit to China on the occasion of Belt and Road Forum, the chief minister held meetings with many dignitaries of the world, including the kingpins of Chinese economy, with an idea of attracting more foreign investment in the country in general and in the province in particular.

He also used this golden opportunity to address the Forum with his statesman-like eloquence discernible in his extempore speech.

The political and economic dignitaries with whom he met included Prime Minister of China Li Keqiang, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Export Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) Liu Liange, Communist Party of China’s International Department Vice-Minister Zheng Xiaosong.

While talking to the Exim Bank president, the chief minister said CPEC is the most vital part of One Belt, One Road project whose positive impacts would be felt at the international level.

“This project is a reflection of political acumen and futurist approach of visionary Chinese President Xi Jinping which would help a number of countries to come nearer to each other and a new era of development, prosperity and peace would usher in.”

Talking about the Lahore Orange Line, the chief minister said, “Every effort is being made to work speedily on Orange Line Metro Train. Due to some legal complexities, delay has occurred at some points, but every effort would be made to remove the backlog as soon as the court permission is granted.”

He said that quality, transparency and fast-track completion has been ensured in the projects initiated in collaboration with China in Pakistan, especially in the Punjab. The coal power plant set up in collaboration with China in Sahiwal has started producing electricity; while work is going on day and night on other projects.

The recognition earned by the chief minister during his China’s visit mainly focused on two terms uttered off and on by Chinese leaders including the Chinese PM and top leaders of Communist Party of China. The terms were ‘Punjab speed’ and ‘Shahbaz speed’. The chief minister had been invited by Chinese President Xi Jinping to attend this conference.

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