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Exclusive: Pakistan hopes to take CPEC into next phase with greater vigor: minister

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Pakistan is looking forward to taking the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into the next phase with greater vigor and hopes to see fruits of the CPEC benefit not only China and Pakistan, but the whole region, said Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives for Pakistan Ahsan Iqbal.

Iqbal was talking to the Global Times in an exclusive interview after a meeting of the 12th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of the CPEC in Beijing on Tuesday.

Iqbal, who has extensive experience and long-standing involvement in the CPEC, said he was overwhelmed at how much has been accomplished by the CPEC in just 10 years.

The beauty of the CPEC is that it is a project between two countries that enjoy a very unique relationship, Iqbal said. "Normally, countries come close when they need to, and they get farther away when they don't need each other. But in the case of China and Pakistan, it has been always spring. There has never been autumn in this relationship."

This year marks a decade of the CPEC. The landmark project was formalized on July 5, 2013.

The CPEC has done a great service to Pakistan, helping it overcome the energy crisis, develop modern infrastructure and restore the country's image as an investment destination. Prior to the CPEC the world used to look at Pakistan as a very dangerous country, the Pakistani minister said.

Pakistan would be facing an extreme energy crisis today without the projects launched under the CPEC, Iqbal emphasized.

Everyone in Pakistan has benefited from the great contribution that has been made by the CPEC, he added. If there was a lack of electricity, factories would be closed and workers would be laid off; patients in hospitals and students in educational institutions would also be stranded.

He mentioned the Thar region of Pakistan, which was once a backward area, saying the CPEC has transformed the region into a source of energy for the country. Local education, employment, hospitals and schools have also flourished.

The projects also empower local women in the region, Iqbal noted. "You will be amazed to see that local women are driving the heavy trucks, which take coal out of the mines." In total, the CPEC projects have created about 200,000 job opportunities.

Iqbal said Pakistan now has a lot more vigor to move forward on the CPEC, adding that many projects that were delayed in previous years were completed in the last year.

He said that Pakistan is looking forward to taking the CPEC into the next phase with greater vigor. "I hope that the next phase will bring many dividends for the wider region beyond Pakistan and China. We hope one day the whole of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East will benefit from the CPEC."

When talking about the mega projects within the second phase of the CPEC, Iqbal expressed his hope to see the start of major upgrades to the Main Line 1 railway between Karachi and Peshawar with China's help as soon as possible in 2023. Modernization and upgrades are urgently needed for this aging railway line, especially as it was badly damaged by the floods last year.

This $10-billion project was supposed to be done in the first phase, but it got delayed in the last four years, Iqbal said.

Iqbal refuted claims in the Western media that the CPEC has not lived up to expectations and has become a "debt trap," saying that instead it has "outperformed the expectations. The propaganda [from the West] that the CPEC is a debt trap is all false. All the negative propaganda against the CPEC has a political element. It has no reality," he told the Global Times.

Infrastructure was the priority of the first-phase of the CPEC, and the second phase will focus on industrial cooperation and business linkage through increasing investment in sectors such as energy, agriculture, information technology and mining, according to Iqbal.

Pakistan is working on nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which will provide more opportunities for Chinese investment. Rashakai, one of the nine SEZs, will be inaugurated later this month, and other SEZs are also in advanced stages, Iqbal revealed to the Global Times.

In the energy sector, Pakistan is actively pursuing solar energy and is hoping to invite Chinese companies to set up solar power production plants, Iqbal noted.

Chinese officials are highly concerned about the safety of Chinese citizens in Pakistan and hope that the Pakistani side will continue to take strong security measures.

On security in Pakistan, the minister said Pakistan is taking extra precautions for the security of Chinese people, and have provided four layers of security dedicated to CPEC projects including deploying a special army force with 10,000 personnel, which has been integrated with police, paramilitary forces and local security.

As the CPEC is a strategic project with big geopolitical implications, enemies are always looking for opportunities to disrupt it either through terrorist acts or creating miscommunication, the Pakistani minister emphasized.
 
Pakistan will do fine economically should the country remain politically stable. As long as the army unites political parties for national interests and remains the guarantor for foreign investors which happens to be the case under Asim Munir, no power can stop us.
 
as long the cpec route can deliver pure un touched whisky in chilled crates quickly to asim munir it will go well. hang in there munir, am popping one bottle for you now.
Woh bhi ksi kuttay k sperms mila kar dain gay dirty hafiz ko :lol:
 
By 2020, Pakistan was supposed to pay back CPEC with just the toll collection of Chinese trade. Entire Chinese trade was to run through this corridor. Pakistani leadership are always really bad planners and thinkers.
 
Minister speaks the truth and with wisdom. I believe CPEC will also benefit Africa too by facilitating high speed trade with Central Asia, Asia and Far East Asia and don't forget about the link tunnels across the Red sea and Persian Gulf. But the core to the strategy is the China-Pakistan rail line. This should be started now and both coutries shouldn't delay but start to build today. This is the best investment both countries can make and should take on friendly international trade partner investment to alleviate the cost.



We hope one day the whole of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East will benefit from the CPEC."
 
This is about the 10th time PMLN's guys have said this. What's with the obsession of talking about CPEC's development speed? Less talking and more work would be appreciated but knowing PDM, talking is all we're gonna get.
 
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Pakistan will do fine economically should the country remain politically stable.
true
As long as the army unites political parties for national interests and remains the guarantor for foreign investors which happens to be the case under Asim Munir, no power can stop us.
army should stay out- period, no ifs and buts as they're solely responsible for all our issues
 
Dear Sir, Ahsan Iqbal,

PLEASE IMPROVE PAKISTAN'S ECONOMY.

SHUKRIA!
 
No-one even knows what phase we are even in...
who cares, as long as progress is being made, however,:-
1. Phase 1 - construction of Gwadar, highways, rail lines and power plants
2. Phase 2 - SEZs
3. Phase 3 - Education and Agriculture revolution
4. Phase 4- China -Pakistan rail link
5. Phase 5 - Enhanced Regional trade and connectivity
6. Phase 6 - Democracy and political structure overhaul
 
who cares, as long as progress is being made, however,:-
1. Phase 1 - construction of Gwadar, highways, rail lines and power plants
2. Phase 2 - SEZs
3. Phase 3 - Education and Agriculture revolution
4. Phase 4- China -Pakistan rail link
5. Phase 5 - Enhanced Regional trade and connectivity
6. Phase 6 - Democracy and political structure overhaul
Phase 5 , enhancing CPEC connectivity will be interesting , India will eat's its heart out:-

"The distance between Kumzar in Oman and Sirik in Iran, across the Persian Gulf, is approximately 195 kilometers (121 miles) in a straight line. This distance is an approximation and does not take into account the curvature of the Earth or the actual route that would need to be followed to cross the Persian Gulf. It's important to note that there is no direct road or tunnel connection between Kumzar and Sirik across the Persian Gulf, and travel between these two points would typically require alternative transportation methods such as by boat or ferry.".

So a tunnel linking Oman and Iran is possible albeit technically challenging and expensive.

"The shortest distance between Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa, and Yemen, situated on the Arabian Peninsula, is across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. The Bab-el-Mandeb strait is a narrow waterway connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. The approximate shortest distance between Djibouti and Yemen across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait is about 30 kilometers (19 miles). This distance is an estimate and may vary slightly depending on the specific locations within Djibouti and Yemen you are referring to."

So a tunnel linking Djibouti and Yemen is definitley possible and economically viable and will open up huge economic benefits to the whole region. Not sure about the seismic activity that will have to be looked into further by the planners. Suddenly the whole game changes and the word socioeconomic dynamics takes a leap forward; Pakistan , Iran, KSA Oman, Yemen become incredibly important for trade. India can sit on the sidelines and watch, lol.

1689484542573.png
 
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Minister speaks the truth and with wisdom. I believe CPEC will also benefit Africa too by facilitating high speed trade with Central Asia, Asia and Far East Asia and don't forget about the link tunnels across the Red sea and Persian Gulf. But the core to the strategy is the China-Pakistan rail line. This should be started now and both coutries shouldn't delay but start to build today. This is the best investment both countries can make and should take on friendly international trade partner investment to alleviate the cost.



We hope one day the whole of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East will benefit from the CPEC."

No one in South Asia outside of Pakistan has any use for CPEC

who cares, as long as progress is being made, however,:-
1. Phase 1 - construction of Gwadar, highways, rail lines and power plants
2. Phase 2 - SEZs
3. Phase 3 - Education and Agriculture revolution
4. Phase 4- China -Pakistan rail link
5. Phase 5 - Enhanced Regional trade and connectivity
6. Phase 6 - Democracy and political structure overhaul

I will wait to see Phase 2. I see no reason for China to relocate factories given supply chain movements out of China. They have a high youth unemployment rate

Phase 5 , enhancing CPEC connectivity will be interesting , India will eat's its heart out:-

"The distance between Kumzar in Oman and Sirik in Iran, across the Persian Gulf, is approximately 195 kilometers (121 miles) in a straight line. This distance is an approximation and does not take into account the curvature of the Earth or the actual route that would need to be followed to cross the Persian Gulf. It's important to note that there is no direct road or tunnel connection between Kumzar and Sirik across the Persian Gulf, and travel between these two points would typically require alternative transportation methods such as by boat or ferry.".

So a tunnel linking Oman and Iran is possible albeit technically challenging and expensive.

"The shortest distance between Djibouti, located in the Horn of Africa, and Yemen, situated on the Arabian Peninsula, is across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait. The Bab-el-Mandeb strait is a narrow waterway connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. The approximate shortest distance between Djibouti and Yemen across the Bab-el-Mandeb strait is about 30 kilometers (19 miles). This distance is an estimate and may vary slightly depending on the specific locations within Djibouti and Yemen you are referring to."

So a tunnel linking Djibouti and Yemen is definitley possible and economically viable and will open up huge economic benefits to the whole region. Not sure about the seismic activity that will have to be looked into further by the planners. Suddenly the whole game changes and the word socioeconomic dynamics takes a leap forward; Pakistan , Iran, KSA Oman, Yemen become incredibly important for trade. India can sit on the sidelines and watch, lol.

View attachment 939151

The whole ball game changes if Iran ends its international isolation. Right now Iran is under sanctions, That is not changing.
 
No one in South Asia outside of Pakistan has any use for CPEC



I will wait to see Phase 2. I see no reason for China to relocate factories given supply chain movements out of China. They have a youth unemployment rate

I have been saying for a while that CPEC is suitable for infrastructure, but it's pointless for Pakistan at this stage as it doesn't have any industries that can adequately utilize the network.
 
I have been saying for a while that CPEC is suitable for infrastructure, but it's pointless for Pakistan at this stage as it doesn't have any industries that can adequately utilize the network.
I think some Pakistanis have Saudi-Dubai syndrome. They see world class infrastructure and great standard of living. They do not realize petrodollars is paying for the infra
 
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