- Higher than mountains, deeper than oceans
After 9/11 things were made very bitter and painful for Pakistan, even though no Pakistani played any part in the attack. Our so-called friends pushed us into the inferno of terrorism through a very planned and organised manipulation of events. Foreign and even local investors were convinced that their investments might go waste in Pakistan because there was no one who could save them from the terrorists. International media particularly the media patronised by forces hostile to Pakistan also played a very important role. Even a gas-cylinder blast at a gas-filling station was portrayed and projected as a suicide-attack. Street crimes were highlighted in a horrible way; the judicial system as well as the working of the police department and other security agencies was unjustly criticised. In short our ‘well-wishers’ succeeded in creating an air of fear and dread among the investors and it all resulted in severe damage to our economic and social structure. Thank God our army succeeded in uprooting this menace of terrorism. Credit goes to our time tested friend China also which came forward in such a horrible situation with the precious CPEC project and showed us a new way to a peacefully prosperous and strategically important Pakistan.
With the new political scenario in Pakistan, things are gradually turning to a very positive direction. Prime Minister Imran Khan is doing his best to solve all serious issues including the economic crisis, social injustice and law and order situation. It is important that Khan’s efforts are fully supported by the Pakistan army, the honourable Judiciary, the media and the public. Recently the prime minister paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia. This two-day trip began exactly one month after he assumed office. Moreover it was his first visit to any country as the prime minister of Pakistan. It was no doubt a very successful visit. Pakistan’s information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, on his return from Saudi Arabia told media that Pakistan has invited Saudi Arabia to become the third partner in the Beijing-funded Belt and Road corridor of major infrastructure projects inside Pakistan. He said referring to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, “Saudi Arabia is the first country whom we have invited as third country partner in CPEC. Pakistan is expecting investment from Saudi Arabia in a major way.”
In the third week of September, Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa also paid a three-day official visit to China. The success of his visit to China may be estimated by the statement of the honourable President of China Mr Xi Jinping as reported by China’s official news agency Xinhua. Mr President said, “China places a ‘high premium’ on its relations with Pakistan and believes a key economic project (CPEC) will be successful. As long as high-degree mutual trust and concrete measures are in place, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor construction will succeed and deliver benefits to people of the two countries. The two countries are iron friends.”
CPEC in itself is an ‘iron-project’ of ‘iron-friends. To help turn Pakistan into a major overland route linking western China to the world China has planned to invest $60 billion for the building of power stations, major highways, new and upgraded railways and higher capacity ports in the CPEC project. The work on the project is heading rapidly towards completion. A few days back a group of selected media-persons was invited by the embassy of China to visit the Sukkar-Multan section of Karachi-Peshawar Motorway Project, an important chapter of the CPEC. The counsellor at the embassy of People’s Republic of China in Islamabad Honourable Mr Li Yuanling himself accompanied the delegation to the section to be visited near Multan. Li Yuanling’s vibrant and very active role in bringing the two countries closer is always very much honoured, appreciated and admired in both the countries.
1152km long Karachi-Peshawar motorway starts from Karachi and ends at Peshawar after passing through many important cities of Pakistan including Hyderabad, Sukkar, Multan, Lahore and Islamabad. 392km long Sukkar-Multan section is further divided into seven sub-sections, each about 54-59km long and the construction work on all these seven portions is going on simultaneously. After the completion of Karachi-Peshawar motorway the travel time from Karachi to Islamabad will be shortened by six hours. Another salient feature of the project is that it is providing countless job-opportunities to the local people. The proportion of Chinese staff to Pakistani staff reaches one to 15.6. The media-persons themselves witnessed the asphalt pavement work which is technically considered as the ‘finishing touches’ of every road-construction project.
1152km long Karachi-Peshawar motorway starts from Karachi and ends at Peshawar after passing through many important cities of Pakistan including Hyderabad, Sukkar, Multan, Lahore and Islamabad
CPEC shall not only shorten the distances but also bring Pakistani and Chinese nations more close to each other. Certainly this cordiality between Pakistan and China is not ‘good-news’ for countries like India and to some extant for our ‘old’ friend USA but one day they would also feel happy when the benefits and advantages of the CPEC would reach them silently and stealthily. Things achieved without doing any effort, any struggle and any expense have a taste of their own; Pakistan and China would never relish upon that unique taste as they have done a lot of struggle, efforts and no doubt given so many sacrifices of precious lives too.