LEADER of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman observed that high level contacts and multi-sectoral cooperation between Pakistan and China are a manifestation of the fact that both sides accord high importance to bilateral relations and desire to further deepen ties for mutual benefit. She expressed these views while talking to Acting Chinese Ambassador Zhao Lijian in Islamabad on Friday who told her that fourteen CPEC projects have generated seventy thousand jobs for Pakistani youth and more would be created through projects in pipeline.
CPEC is surely a game-changer initiative and it has the potential to ameliorate the lot of people of Pakistan especially those in some of the most backward areas that remained neglected ever since creation of Pakistan. The priority being given to the Western route, which passes through non-tradition regions, is also having positive socio-economic impact on the life of people of these areas. The remarks of both Sherry Rehman and Chinese Acting Ambassador have proved once again that the propaganda unleashed by some local and foreign circles against CPEC initiative was aimed at undermining the project and nothing else. Attempts are being made to cloud thinking of the people by comparing CPEC with East India Company and baseless accusations that only Chinese manpower is being employed on these projects. The assurance of the Chinese envoy that local would be preferred while hiring for CPEC projects is welcome and hopefully it would further help improve life of the people. People of Pakistan should also keep in mind that five years back there was excessive load-shedding in the country but now there is no shortage of electricity – thanks to completion of power projects under CPEC. The existing problems in the power sector are mainly because of capacity issues in the infrastructure and rampant theft, which need to be resolved to ensure that the true benefits of increased generation reached to the people of Pakistan.