‘CPEC flagship project of OBOR’
Islamabad : The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Sartaj Aziz, said that the ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC), connecting Gwadar with Kashgar is the ‘flagship project’ of the ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) vision of the Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Sartaj Aziz, who had served the country as the Foreign Minister and the Finance Minister in the past, was speaking as the guest of honor at a dinner reception hosted by the President of the English Speaking Union (ESU) Islamabad Chapter, Khalid Malik at his residence.
He said that that while Pakistan will benefit from CPEC, the whole world will benefit from the vision of the Chinese President Xi Jinping that is aimed at allowing the other nations to connect and benefit from OBOR.
“Pakistan has already started enjoying the instant positive impact of CPEC, particularly in the power and infrastructure sector. There is a lot more to come as a result of various other projects and MoUs worth $46 billion, signed already between the two countries and partners in the CPEC projects,” Sartaj Aziz said.
He said that as the impact of CPEC has reflecting positively on Pakistan’s economy, the momentum would gradually pick up, particularly because of improving law and order situation in the country, especially in Balochistan.
“For a better economy it is essential to have better security and law and order situation in the country to boost the confidence of investors and industrialists, especially the foreign investors.
We have observed dramatic change in security situation as a result of operations ‘Zarb e Azb’ and the on-going operation ‘Radul Fasad’ by the Pakistan Army,” Sartaj Aziz said.
He said that once the CPEC route is completed, it would become the easiest route for China to have access to the world from its land-locked parts. He said that while the energy sector is he first signs of this cooperation between Pakistan and China, the pace has become a bit slowed down. However, he said that more projects are being added which would help create jobs for the Pakistani youth.
He also emphasized on improving country’s exports with particular reference to trade with the US, which he said, has become stagnated at the moment.
Regarding the water situation, Sartaj Aziz said that the situation is worrisome as Pakistan is wasting 80 per cent of its water. “A National Water Policy is being prepared aimed at enhancing the storage capacity of water as well as creating new dams and reservoirs.
Earlier, ESU Secretary General Squadron Leader Abid Ali briefly introduced the ESU and highlighted its activities.
The President of the ESU Islamabad chapter, Khalid Malik, introduced the guest of honor, Sartaj Aziz to the audience, highlighting his illustrious career as a politician and as a development economist.
He also informed the audience that there were 61 ESUs all over the world with its headquarters based in London, UK. He also said that being the centennial year, an international declamation contest is being arranged by all the ESUs and the winners will eventually participate in the final to be held in London in which Pakistan will also participate.
The guests invited to the reception included diplomats, serving and retired bureaucrats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, businessmen, politicians and social academicians and social elite of town.
Prominent among them were the former Deputy Chairman of Senate Wazir Jogezai, the Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Gabriel Tiel Capote, the High Commissioner of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Major-Gen (r) Jayanath Lokuketagodag and the Ambassador of Bosnia