Pakistan offers India to take advantage of multibillion-dollar CPEC project


ISLAMABAD, JUL 5: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has urged arch-rival India to take benefit of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project instead of creating hurdles in its way.

The premier said this in a statement on Wednesday to mark the completion of 10 years of CPEC.

Highlighting the significance of the project, he said Iran, Afghanistan, the Middle East and the whole region would also benefit from the mega-development project.

“CPEC is a beautiful plan to connect not only regions and areas but also people’s hearts,” he was quoted as saying in the statement issued by the PM Office.

PM Shehbaz vowed to double the pace of the development as it was not only for improving roads, rail, seaports and air routes, but it would also help health, education and skill development areas, besides masses’ participation in the process.

Terming it a game changer for the whole region, the prime minister said CPEC would have a positive impact on the people’s living standards in the region.

The prime minister congratulated the leadership and the people of Pakistan and China on 10 years’ completion of CPEC, which he said was a new chapter of the evergreen and trusted strategic cooperative partnership between the two “iron brothers”.

He said the project was a tremendous example of great Chinese leader Xi Jinping and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif’s vision of “development for all”.

“The Belt and Road initiative is the manifestation of Chinese President Xi’s vision of peace, friendship, and economic partnership.”

He regretted that during the four years of the previous government, hurdles were created in the way of the project, besides levelling baseless allegations against a great friend like China.

“The enemies of CPEC are against peace, development and prosperity in Pakistan and the region, as they do not want to eradicate poverty from the country,” he added.

CPEC, he said, also initiated a new era of mutual partnership between Pakistan and China, and fortified their bilateral relationships.

PM Shehbaz said CPEC encompassed multiple projects ranging from provision of water to education, and technical and skilled-based training.

With the construction of nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the new technology would be transferred to Pakistan, which would ultimately help increase local production, he said.

The prime minister also highlighted the impacts of the project on the effectiveness of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and early warning system for natural disasters as they were parts of CPEC.

Similarly, he said, the agriculture-related projects had also been included in CPEC to ensure food security.