Friday, February 24, 2017

West not conspiring against CPEC: PM

http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Feb-2017/west-not-conspiring-against-cpec-pm

Says project to get boost if Turkey, CARs join it, Pakistan well-wisher of Afghanistan


February 25, 2017

ANKARA - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said he does not see any indication that the United States and West were engaged in destabilising China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Talking informally to media persons accompanying him on his trip to Turkey shortly before his return journey home, the prime minister said he however was aware that there were some regional countries which were not happy with the rapid development and progress of CPEC.

He said fast-track work on various projects was continuing including on chain of motorways linking Gwadar with various parts of the country and China as well the Central Asian Republics.

In addition to this, he said the existing Coastal Highway was being upgraded, while construction of a four-lane motorway between Quetta and Gwadar was also underway.

He said infrastructure in Balochistan was getting better by every day, adding that China is building a huge airport in Gwadar which would be second best of the country after Karachi's Jinnah International Airport.

Peaceful, prosperous Afghanistan

Commenting on the series of blasts across the country, the prime minster said Pakistani intelligence had traced back their linkage in Afghanistan, but Pakistan continued to favour stability of the neighbouring country. A peaceful Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan and the region, he added.

"Afghanistan should realise that Pakistan is its well-wisher" and always desired its peace and stability besides wanting to contribute for country's development, he said.

Mentioning several infrastructure projects in Afghanistan being funded by the Pakistan government, he said work on the four-lane Peshawar to Jalalabad motorway was 70 percent complete and feasibility work was underway on Peshawar-Kabul motorway.

"We believe in maintaining good relations with all and we demonstrated this spirit of goodwill with other states and within the country as well," he said.

Replying to a question, the prime minister said he would not like to touch upon Afghan leadership's negative intentions. "There has been a series of anti-Pakistan statements by the top Afghan leader but he would desist from responding to those in the same tone. We are demonstrating greater level of tolerance."

The PM did not mention the name of PTI leader Imran Khan when he smilingly said: "We do not use harsh language against our adversaries inside and outside Pakistan."

When asked why Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was invited to the military General Headquarters (GHQ), Nawaz Shairf said there was nothing unusual about it. "There was a presentation session arranged there,” he said defusing the bite in the question because at the time of Ghani’s visit Gen Raheel Sharif was the Army Chief.

Relations with Turkey

The PM said the relation between Pakistan and Turkey was unique because the leaderships of two brotherly states were committed to the wellbeing of their people. Turkey was making massive investment in Pakistan and had recently bought a Pakistani company worth 400 million and was planning to expand it in near future.

He viewed that Turkish participation in the CPEC along with Central Asian states would give a boost to the project. He said his visit to Turkey was significant in strengthening the bilateral and economic prospects.

He said his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan focused on several areas including issues related to Syria, Russia and Daesh, while the leadership of the two states also focused early finalisation of bilateral Free Trade Agreement.

Politics at home

The prime minister said he wanted everyone to contribute towards the national progress and development. He mentioned that the government of different political parties in different provinces was indeed a test of their performance before the public. He said people in the country had a realisation as to which political party was in fact taking steps for their welfare.

To a question on fate of military courts, Nawaz said consensus was being evolved in this regard and decision would be taken in near future.

 

War on terror

The Premier said there was a relative peace during the past two-and-half year as compared to the past years which saw unprecedented levels of terrorism and bloodshed.

The recent spate of terrorist activities would soon be over due to “our resolve to combat those responsible for it”, he emphasised. "We have to remain steadfast and we would come out successful in our fight against the enemy forces", he said with conviction.

When asked about the misreporting by media about a tyre blast in Gulberg area of Lahore, the PM said it was extremely positive that discussions against such irresponsible reporting had already started within the media as self-accountability was the best way forward.

Power generation

He informed a questioner that he government has reduce the daily loadshedding hours from 12 to mere three and with the commissioning of new energy plants, this menace would be eradicated. Work on several energy projects was at the advance stage and their commissioning was around the corner, he said.

He said he realises that it was difficult to comprehend the massive activity in progress at various energy plants. It was in this context that he was planning a comprehensive briefing to inform the people of Pakistan about the state of affairs in energy sector.

Replying to another question, he said that in three ongoing projects at Bhikki, Baluki and Sahiwal the government had saved Rs100 billion in terms of actual cost. He added that in the construction of CPEC motorways, Rs350 billion had been saved.

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mentioned that the government of different political parties in different provinces was indeed a test of their performance before the public. He said people in the country had a realisation as to which political party was in fact taking steps for their welfare.

To a question on fate of military courts, Nawaz said consensus was being evolved in this regard and decision would be taken in near future.

War on terror

The Premier said there was a relative peace during the past two-and-half year as compared to the past years which saw unprecedented levels of terrorism and bloodshed.

The recent spate of terrorist activities would soon be over due to “our resolve to combat those responsible for it”, he emphasised. "We have to remain steadfast and we would come out successful in our fight against the enemy forces", he said with conviction.

When asked about the misreporting by media about a tyre blast in Gulberg area of Lahore, the PM said it was extremely positive that discussions against such irresponsible reporting had already started within the media as self-accountability was the best way forward.

Power generation

He informed a questioner that he government has reduce the daily loadshedding hours from 12 to mere three and with the commissioning of new energy plants, this menace would be eradicated. Work on several energy projects was at the advance stage and their commissioning was around the corner, he said.

He said he realises that it was difficult to comprehend the massive activity in progress at various energy plants. It was in this context that he was planning a comprehensive briefing to inform the people of Pakistan about the state of affairs in energy sector.

Replying to another question, he said that in three ongoing projects at Bhikki, Baluki and Sahiwal the government had saved Rs100 billion in terms of actual cost. He added that in the construction of CPEC motorways, Rs350 billion had been saved





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