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January 25, 2021

IPS team meets CPEC authority chairman

Islamabad

January 25, 2021

Islamabad:Pakistan attaches great importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and will go all-out for its success, said CPEC Authority chairman Lt. General (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa.

He was speaking to a delegation of senior officials and researchers of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), who called on him at the CPEC Authority’s Secretariat. The IPS delegation comprised its Executive President Khalid Rahman, GM Operations Naufil Shahrukh, senior associates Amanullah Khan, Mirza Hamid Hasan, Dr Maliha Zeba Khan, Ambassador (r) Tajammul Altaf, Brigadier (r) Said Nazir Mohmand, and members of the Institute’s research and outreach team including Shafaq Sarfraz, Asim Ehsan, Kulsoom Belal, Wali Farooqi, Hafiz Inamullah Khan, Shahid Afzal, and Maimoona Mahmood.

Briefing the delegation about the progress on CPEC, the chairman said that work on the eastern, western, and central alignments was in full swing, and the second phase of the project is just beginning.

He also rubbished the claims that work on phase one has slowed down, claiming nothing was on hold. Bajwa said underdeveloped areas, especially southern parts of Balochistan were being given importance in CPEC; a dam and desalination plant had been built in Gwadar to resolve chronic water shortages affecting the inhabitants.

He said an airport with the biggest runway of Pakistan worth $230 million was also being built in Gwadar. Commenting on phase one of CPEC, Asim Bajwa said the first phase’s success depends on the second phase, which involves business-to-business and people-to-people contacts. He also said synergy among all stakeholders is required to make CPEC a success. In this regard, the Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce & Industry was also being revived, he informed.

He stressed the need for projecting CPEC as a regional connectivity initiative to make Pakistan emerge as an economically galvanising state instead of security or terror-fighting state on the global spectrum. Afghan transit trade, he added, is also now being facilitated through Gwadar port.

Khalid Rahman opined that China and Pakistan both need each other to implement CPEC as the initiative's success lies in further strengthening bilateral relations. He also underlined the importance of transparency and effective perception management for the success of CPEC to counter the nefarious designs of Pakistan and China's adversaries at all levels.