LAHORE :Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gilani has said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will prove to be a game-changer not only for the two countries but for the whole region and will guarantee socio-economic development of Pakistan.
Addressing inaugural ceremony of international conference on “CPEC: Political, Economic and Social Perspectives” organised by Punjab University Department of History & Pakistan Studies on Monday, the minister claimed time would come when 1 dollar would be equivalent to 2 Pakistani rupees.
PU’s Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt, Director General Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Dr Shahid Soroya, Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prof Dr Iqbal Chawla, Vice Chancellor Benazir Shaheed Bhutto University Peshawar Prof Dr Razia Sultana, Director History Department Nanjing University China Prof Dr Yu Wenjie, Vice President Nanjing University, Xianlin Campus Dr Zhu Qinbao, Dr Mahboob Hussain, researchers from abroad and various parts of country, faculty members and a large number of students were present.
Raza Ali Gilani said the success of this historical project would also bring overseas Pakistanis back to their motherland with honour and grace. He added the completion of CPEC and Gwadar Port would boost economic activities in Pakistan. He said CPEC was multidimensional projects with its road links linking all the provinces and territories into a close-knit economic unit. He added in 2004, the government had conducted a study which suggested that the money collected through toll from the route only would be equivalent to the total budget of Pakistan at that time. He said another finding of the study was Pakistan would witness rapid economic growth and Pakistan’s two rupees would be equivalent to one dollar. He said Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shahbaz Sharif had envisioned a stronger and highly prosperous Pakistan and we could see actualisation of their vision through CPEC. PU Acting Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Taqi Zahid Butt announced establishment of CPEC Integrated Study Centre at the university. He said this centre would serve as a platform for gathering and dissemination of important evolving and latest information about the development relating to the CPEC. He said it would also serve as a catalyst for developing ever-closer ties between Pakistan and China through frequent exchange of scholars, researchers, academicians and specialists in related areas.
Dr Shahid Soroya said CPEC was an opportunity as well as a challenge. He said there were two important challenges in CPEC project i.e. provision of skilled force and development of human resource. He said PHEC had taken up these issues seriously and we would set up technology universities and PHEC was signing MoUs with Chinese universities for exchange programmes. Prof Dr Zhu Qinbao said: “We would discuss important academic issues in the conference and efforts were being made to enhance cooperation between the great neighbours. We needed to advance practically and work collectively in the fields of archeology, culture, history etc.”
Dr Razia Sultana said Pakistan and China said CPEC would not prove East India Company rather it must be understood as game-changer for Pakistan. She said CPEC project would boost four major sectors in Pakistan including transport infrastructure, energy sector, industrial development and Gwadar Port. She said the country would also earn huge revenue through tourism. She added the government must take all stakeholders on board on CPEC project and ensure peace in Pakistan. She said CPEC was a global project and from Kashghar to Gwadar road was actually the road to development. Dean Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prof Dr Iqbal Chawla said the two-day international conference would provide an important platform for renowned historians, economists and social scientists from China, England, Poland, Australia and Pakistan to deliberate, discuss and analyse important aspects of the CPEC