CPEC initiative covers whole Pakistan including KPK: Experts

ISLAMABAD: The multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative is a process rather than just one project and would be implemented gradually.

Energy, transport infrastructure, industrial parks and Gwadar Port are major components of this comprehensive cooperation framework signed between Pak-China leadership. Talking to APP, Head of Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies (PIPS), Amir Rana said here on Wednesday that memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries clearly indicates that the CPEC initiative would cover whole of Pakistan including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Chinese investors, companies and financial institutions are stakeholders while Pakistan’s government is the guarantor, he added. Amir Rana said, in the first phase, the road connectivity would be completed to interconnect all the provinces, adding, building CPEC needs to be based on scientific research and designed by short, mid and long-term planning.

He said seven free economic zones would be made along the CPEC route and respective provincial governments should identify sites for these economic zones instead of politicizing the entire initiative. He opined that reservations expressed by KPK leadership regarding CPEC implementation are based on misconception and misunderstanding.  Executive Director, Pakistan Council on China, Dr. Fazal said the CPEC initiative would bring benefits to the peoples of all the provinces including KPK.

He informed that Atta Abad-Havalian road is a main artery of CPEC route and the provincial government of KPK should propose different projects after carrying out a feasibility study. Dr. Fazal said the KPK government should work for the development of province and exercise its rights under 18th amendment.

He informed that after completion of first phase, hydel power projects, dry ports and special economic zones would be established in KPK under CPEC initiative. According to Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal, CPEC is a fusion of multiple developments, aiming to peace, prosperity and well-being of the peoples of the region and the world at large.  The existing roads are being upgraded to interconnect different areas of the country. The 650 KM Gwadar-Surab road is being completed on priority basis to link the all important Gwadar Port with rest of the country.

The upgradation of Quetta-DI Khan road is also imperative keeping in view its importance.  The federal government has already announced to fulfill all the commitments it made at All Parties Conference (APC) in May, 2015, and would build Western route, passing through backward areas of KPK and Balochistan on priority basis. About the setting up on energy and infrastructure development projects in different parts of the country, the minister has already made it clear that out of total 46 billion dollars, 38 billion dollars would be invested in power sector through private investors. The federal government cannot force the private investors to initiate these projects at sites of its choice.

The remaining six billion dollars would be a concessional financing from Chinese government for the projects of infrastructure. The selection of the sites for the energy projects would be made after complete consensus of the epers of the both countries as it is a bilateral project.

APP

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