LAHORE - A delegation of China State Construction Engineering Corporation, led by its President Zheng Xue Xuan, met Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday and expressed interest in investment and cooperation in Saaf Pani project.

Both the sides also discussed matters to promote collaboration in infrastructure projects.

The Chief Minister on the occasion expressed gratitude to the Chinese government for investing $46billion in CPEC and energy projects in Pakistan and said that Pak-China ties are strengthening with the passage of time.

He said that under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), work is being fast completed on the projects across Pakistan. He said that under CPEC, the journey of progress and prosperity of the people has started.

He said that CPEC projects are game changer for Pakistan. Shehbaz Sharif said that CPEC is a guarantee to progress and development and will be implemented round the clock. He said that CPEC is a splendid gift for people of Pakistan by Chinese leadership. He said that CPEC is reflective of unprecedented friendship between Pakistan and China and further strengthened relations between the two countries.

Shehbaz said that CPEC is not only a package of 46 billion dollars but also reflects everlasting friendship between Pakistan and China and is a proof of sincerity and love of Chinese leadership to Pakistan. He said that President and Prime Minister of China and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif played a commendable role in giving a final shape to the CPEC.

The CM said that work has been started vigorously on energy projects throughout Pakistan including Punjab and no hurdle will be tolerated in the implementation of CPEC projects. He said that the progress made by China is a role model for Pakistan and it can benefit from Chinese technology. The Chief Minister said that government is also completing projects in energy, infrastructure and social sectors with its own resources. He said that China State Construction Engineering Corporation should make investment in Punjab generously and assured all out facilities for this purpose.

Mr Zheng Xue Xuan said that CM Shehbaz implemented development projects with high quality in the Punjab including Lahore. He said that he is deeply impressed with the vision of public service of Shehbaz Sharif. He said that there are a number of investment opportunities in Pakistan especially Punjab. He said that the cooperation with Punjab government will be promoted in different sectors. The delegation included President CSCEC Overseas Operations Li Ji Qin besides other senior officials. Chinese Consul General Yu Boren, Provincial Minister for Housing Tanvir Aslam Malik, Chairman Punjab Saaf Pani Company Kashif Padhiyar, MPA, concerned secretaries and senior officials were also present on this occasion.

CM for economic ties with Afghanistan: Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal yesterday met Chief Minister Shehbaz.

The CM said Pakistan and Afghanistan are bound together in strong historical and brotherly relations, however, there is a need to further promote of ties.

The Afghan ambassador shared views on the matters of mutual interests with the Punjab. He said that Afghanistan gives great importance to its relations with Pakistan and more work is needed to further promote economic and trade relations between the two countries.

The CM stressed the need for adopting measures to enhance exchange of visits of the business delegations of the two countries as a means to promote economic relations. He said that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are facing scourge of terrorism.

He said that terrorism and extremism are a common problem of the world and coordinated efforts are needed to cope with this issue. He said that Pakistan and Afghanistan support each other in the efforts for peace as it is essential for development of the region.