‘Pakistan, China to take their relationship to the next level’

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Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan and China are being transformed from strategic partners to strategic economic partners, which will bring prosperity and development in the country.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid in Islamabad today, he said that Pak-China strategic and political partnership remained a top priority of all the previous governments of Pakistan but the economic sector was missing. He said with the cooperation of China Pakistan will become economic tiger of the Asia within few years. He said China is ready to provide all out support to Pakistan to achieve the economic targets.

The Minister said that during the visit of Chinese President MoUs worth 45 billion projects would be signed in the sectors of energy, basic infrastructures, industrial collaborations and other sectors under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He said out of these 28 billion dollar projects are ready to go.

He said that under the bilateral energy cooperation, projects worth 37 billion dollars would be started. He said these projects would yield 16400 MW of electricity. He said out of this 10400 MW projects will be selected as early harvest projects and will be completed by 2018.He said these projects will revolve around coal, hydel, solar and wind energy. He said these projects would be started in all parts of the country.

The Minister said that with the cooperation of China different projects would be started in Thar that will yield 6600 MW of electricity. He said the completion of these projects would bring prosperity and development in the Thar region.

The minister said that under the second pillar of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Gwadar Port projects would be upgraded. He said that under the project 14 km expressway and airport would be built in the area.

Ahsan Iqbal said that under the third pillar of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor different highways and express ways would be setup. He said the focus would be on the Karakoram Highway while Khunjrab to Dry port road will also be upgraded.

The Minister said under the fourth pillar of the project, industrial collaboration will he enhanced and special economic zones will be setup in all parts of the country.

He said for the completion of these projects another foreign investment; the government is working hard to make Pakistan a peaceful space. He said under the National Action Plan, operation Zarb-e-Azb has been started that has broken the bake bone of the terrorists. He said in the same way the government is making efforts to bring peace in Balochistan through political means.

The minister said to remove the sense of deprivation of Baloch people, the government has started a number of development projects in the province. He said the Prime Minister would soon launch Kachi canal project in Balochistan that will irrigate one hundred thousand acres of land.