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US concerns on CPEC unfounded: Ahsan

http://nation.com.pk/national/15-Oct-2017/us-concerns-on-cpec-unfounded-ahsan

October 15, 2017/ 1 Comment

WASHINGTON - Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has urged the United States not to look at the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) from an Indian perspective but as an economic plan to bring peace and stability in South Asia.

Addressing gathering at the Embassy Forum, organized by the Pakistan Embassy, Washington DC on Friday, Ahsan Iqbal said that US Defence Secretary James Mattis’ concerns about over $50 billion CPEC were unfounded.

Ahsan highlighted the economic gains and the security successes of Pakistan achieved in the last four years.

In his remarks, the minister shared the remarkable progress made by Pakistan in the macroeconomic sector through prudent fiscal policies which resulted in economic growth rate of over 5.3 percent per annum. Major economic projects were under way, such as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that would generate business opportunities for foreign investors in coming years.

The security situation has improved considerably after successful military operations in the tribal areas as well as other parts of the country. Through the valiant efforts of Pakistan's security forces and the determination of the entire nation, the country had reversed the tide of terrorism which had gripped it five years ago.

He also shared various measures taken by the government including energy projects that will add 10,000 MW to the national energy supply. He was hopeful that power shortages could be fully overcome in the near future. By redressing the energy shortfall, the government was keen to boost economic productivity.

The minister also shared initiatives taken by the government to enhance education, empower women, improve healthcare and reduce poverty in Pakistan. He also sought support for the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor.

Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry thanked the minister for sharing his views on the occasion and helping to promote Pakistan's positive image in the US.

The forum was well-attended with participants from US State Department, academia and members of the Pakistani American diaspora

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