LAHORE  - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Sunday stated that the government has failed to understand why the national parties are against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). While talking at the pre-budget seminar here, Ahsan Iqbal lashed out at the political parties as they are creating fear among Chinese investors by their dissatisfaction over CPEC route.

He said that the agreement with Chinese delegation was signed in 2013 and if there is anyone who can provide any documentation with respect to this MoU signed before 2013, he should unveil it.

He pronounced that various development plans would also be initiated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) whereas Thar Coal project would bring prosperity to the Sindh province. He assured to initiate the plans across the country so that every single area of Pakistan can be developed.

Ahsan Iqbal reiterated that the solution to the internal matters is a key towards international investment however, the Rs $46 million would prove to be a milestone in economic welfare. He vowed that the world will witness a new Pakistan in 2015.

Federal Minister stated that the officials of international market are lauding the efforts of Pakistan towards development as all the stakeholders are on one platform.

He further urged the prominent leaders to help in eliminating all the problems and advised them to be united in war against terrorism.

Moreover, Ahsan Iqbal termed the unity of stakeholders important to stand at best rank in global market. He said that the perception and image of Pakistan at the world level is now being positively improved due the great Pak-China economic partnership.

He said that Pakistan has got a golden opportunity to develop and prosper our economy through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and we will have to avail this chance. He said that after completion of this Corridor project, Pakistan will be included in the rising economies.

He said that as compared to the economic situation in 2013 at the general elections, now country's economy has recovered considerably due to successful government policies. And this economic turnaround has been given a positive recognition by all world financial institutions, banks and journals.

Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan had also got opportunities to prosper in 1960's and at start of 1990's but we lost those chances to become an economic tiger, as political destabilisation was the major cause behind that. He said that the last year's sit-in and protests had harmed the economic growth of country but now the situation has been recovered.

He said that internal stability and better law and order situation are pre-requisite for economic development and prosperity of any country and these will improve foreign investments in various sectors of Pakistan as well.

China pursues 1+4 formula in implementing CPEC project

China is committed to pursue 1+4 formula while implementing economic corridor project and making its contribution for socio-economic development of Pakistan as an iron-friend. In all the statements appeared so far from Pakistani and Chinese side, the main focus was laid on equal benefit to the people of Pakistan under the CPEC. A senior Chinese diplomat in Islamabad while explaining the 1+4 formula says, 1 means benefit to the people of entire country and 4 means priorities areas i.e. Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial development.

It was made clear by the Chinese leaders while launching Pak-China Economic Corridor project (PCECP) that it meant to ensure equal benefit to whole of Pakistan. Chinese President Xi Jinping in his article written on eve of his recent visit to Pakistan said, "We need to form a ‘1+4’ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the center and the Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people."

There should be no doubt to this effect that all the regions of the country will receive equal benefit under this fate-changing project, he added. Meanwhile, establishment of special security division of Pakistan army for the protection of Chinese workers has raised high the confidence of the Chinese companies to make maximum investment in the country.

According to the Chinese companies which are engaged in various China-funded projects in Pakistan, the decision of handing over the security of Chinese workers to the army was received well by the Chinese workers and they are now more inclined to work in Pakistan.

The establishment of a special division also reflected the commitment and support of the security forces towards the China-Pakistan economic corridor project (CPECP), said a senior official of Chinese company which is working with an energy-related project in Pakistan.

It was decided during the recent visit of President Xi Jinping that Pakistan military will train over 12,000 personnel who will be inducted into the special division. This high-profile force will help to provide foolproof security to the Chinese workers.

As per the decision, Ranger's personnel will also be part of this security plan in addition to the army unit. The Chinese diplomat appreciating the decision to the effect said that our concern about the security of the Chinese workers was well attended by the government of Pakistan. Both the governments, he said will be working together for promoting a peaceful environment to implement the CPECP on fast-track basis.

While appreciating the counter-terrorism measures recently taken by Pakistan, the official said 'terrorism is our common enemy' and it has to be rooted out through joint efforts. The official assured that the Chinese government will provide all possible support to Pakistan to promote peace and tranquility in the country for its socio-economic development.  

Stating that Pakistan and China are enjoying exemplary relationship in all spheres of life, the official further said people of the two countries enjoyed shared destiny and their enhanced cooperation is meant to improve the living conditions of their people across the board.

 They have taken a pro-active approach for fostering their mutually beneficial cooperative partnership on the basis of win-win situation, he added.   

The recent visit of President Xi has created new opportunities for the two countries, bringing their strategic partnership to a new height. It was an historical visit that has also given a new direction to the development of their multi-dimensional relationship, he added.  

He referred to the joint declaration issued after the visit, which he said provided a comprehensive overall framework for addressing their common problems, and promoting peace and development in the region. Following his highly fruitful visit, the two countries are now laying greater focus on quick implementation of CPECP, which a flagship project of the Belt and Road initiative.