Pakistan’s PM Directs Ministries to Accelerate Work on CPEC Phase II

Tue May 14 2024
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed all ministries to further strengthen their coordination for accelerating the pace of work on the crucial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) phase II.

While chairing a meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday, regarding CPEC Phase II and other relevant projects under Chinese investment in Pakistan, the prime minister emphasized expediting the work and stated that any kind of delay in the completion of CPEC Phase II would not be tolerated.

He ordered the concerned authorities to place a significant portion of the country’s import via Gwadar to make the port fully operational.

The prime minister expressed his satisfaction over the Pak-China economic cooperation at the highest level in history and called upon relevant institutions to ensure an impactful and positive outcome for both countries from these projects.

Terming China as a long-lasting friend of Pakistan, Shahbaz Sharif also directed the authorities to provide and ensure foolproof security of the Chinese nationals.

Ahsan Iqbal Optimistic over CPEC Phase II

Earlier on Monday, the Federal Minister of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, Prof Ahsan Iqbal, expressed his optimism about the potential and prospects of regional cooperation under the CPEC Phase II.

In an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN), the minister emphasized Pakistan’s potential to become a hub of trade, commerce, and business in the region that would possibly connect over three billion people.

Highlighting the transformative impact of CPEC on Pakistan, the federal minister cited the creation of over 200,000 jobs and improved logistics efficiency across the country. He underscored the importance of the upcoming phase in spurring economic growth through infrastructure projects, livelihood initiatives, and advancements in digital technology domains like artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

The minister stressed the shift towards green energy, emphasizing the government’s commitment to renewable energy projects and the transition from imported fuel to sustainable energy sources such as hydroelectric power.

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Addressing concerns about the safety of Chinese nationals involved in CPEC projects, Prof Ahsan Iqbal assured enhanced security measures. He highlighted the dedicated security forces, including a 12,000-strong Pakistan army contingent, deployed to protect Chinese personnel. He condemned attempts by external adversaries to disrupt CPEC progress and affirmed Pakistan’s resolve to ensure the safety of all stakeholders.

Regarding the upcoming phase of CPEC, the minister expressed optimism about reinforcing the enduring friendship between China and Pakistan. He anticipated fruitful outcomes from Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to China, aiming to materialize the goals set for Phase 2 of CPEC and further strengthen bilateral relations.

Ahsan Iqbal’s remarks underscore Pakistan’s commitment to leveraging CPEC for sustainable development, regional cooperation, and fostering enduring ties with China.

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