Prime Minister Imran Khan recent visit to United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), if established Pakistan an important state of the Muslim world, it also highlighted Pakistan’s brotherly relation with China which has become stronger ever since his party came into power. Chinese Foreign Minister addressed Kashmir issue in his speech to UNGA which is also an acknowledgement of this fact that there is no change of plan and China is all weather friend of Pakistan. The way China has supported Pakistan at diplomatic front for Kashmir cause and how it helped present regime to tackle financial crisis by giving funds for maintaining foreign reserves, shows clearly that the rumors created by Indian media shelving China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects is baseless. CPEC is first and foremost project of Belt and Road Initiative by China which joins China with Central Asian Republics (CAR), Middle East (M.E) and Africa through Gawadar port of Pakistan. As the junction of CPEC is Gawadar which is in Balochistan, international conspiracies against this region has started from the very beginning lead by Indian agencies which also highlighted by our worthy Prime minister in his UNGA address by stating Gulbushan Yadav. It is worth mentioning here that CPEC is to be completed in three phases out of which first phase of transportation related infrastructure and establishment of Gawadar port including some power projects has almost completed. Now second phase of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is going to start in October this year which also includes socio-economic benefits for the people of Pakistan.
While answering to a question about Pakistan- China relations, asked by interviewer at the forum of Council on Foreign Relations, the world most sophisticated think tank, Mr. Khan praised the deep rooted friendship with China and highly admired China’s great effort in alleviating poverty in its country by uplifting 700 Million Chinese from the poverty line. He thanked China who helped Pakistan financially on his call by giving fund for foreign exchange reserves. He further stated that what China offers us right now is an opportunity from its $2 trillion import market where with a preferential trade agreement Pakistan can export to China at the same terms as the ASEAN countries. Apart from that, he added; Pakistan has this opportunity now to get Chinese industry to relocate in Pakistan, bring in technology. He concluded in these words; China has given us a great opportunity to lift ourselves up from where we are right now. Afterwards the interviewer asked about US Pakistan relations where our Prime Minister even responded that the then Pakistani government’s decision to become part of War on Terror was the biggest mistake of country’s history which cost Pakistan 70,000 lives of innocent people and a loss of around $200 Billion dollars. Answering to these two questions one after another shows how important is China for Pakistan’s foreign policy. It also clearly depicts that the leader of present regime is not only inspired from China regarding its efforts for poverty alleviation but look to Chinese market for earning foreign exchange.
Mr. Khan praised the deep rooted friendship with China and highly admired China’s great effort in alleviating poverty in its country by uplifting 700 Million Chinese from the poverty line
Recently a meeting was held between Planning and Development Minister, Mr. Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and the Chinese ambassador Yao Jing over CPEC developments where both the countries expressed satisfaction over the progress and hoped that bilateral partnership between the two friendly countries would strengthen further. Projects which are completed in first phase and those which will become part of second stage in upcoming Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting were revealed. It is told that the second phase focuses on poverty alleviation, agriculture and industrial cooperation. Highlighted projects also include Dams, petroleum and petrochemical plants, refineries and gas pipelines. Regarding development in Gwadar, 10 projects in infrastructure and social sector development have either been completed or under construction. Among the completed projects, Gwadar port is functional. Most importantly, the Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan for the integrated development of the city has been approved on 23 August, 2019 and ready for implementation. Moreover, tax concessions and investment incentives issue which was lingering since 2016 has been resolved which will enhance economic activity in Gwadar. The country’s largest airport, the New Gwadar International Airport groundbreaking was held on March 29, 2019 by the Prime Minister Imran Khan. Framework Agreements on Industrial cooperation, Agriculture and socio-economic development have been signed in November 2018. As the major obstacle in the establishment of these SEZs was to provide utilities to the Zone, the current government has agreed to provide the utilities at zero point through its own resources. These developments show clearly that the propaganda against CPEC is an international agenda to check China becoming super power and to disturb brotherly relations of both the countries.
The writer is Corporate Finance Specialist and a Chartered Banker (UK)