Ali Muhammad Khan and Fawad Chaudhry say the belt-and-road initiative will prove a huge boon for Balochistan
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will prove a game-changer for the entire South Asian region, bringing about an economic revolution for all of Pakistan and especially Balochistan province, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan and Science and Technology Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Sunday.
Participating in a current affairs program on Radio Pakistan, the two lawmakers claimed the belt-and-road initiative—which Prime Minister Imran Khan had criticized as being non-transparent prior to his election—would set a milestone for bilateral relations between Pakistan and China. The parliamentary affairs minister claimed the prime minister had always supported CPEC—a dubious assertion considering Khan’s earlier criticisms of deals signed by the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)-led government—adding that Khan was determined to ensure the initiative proceeded to its logical end.
The mega project would not only benefit China and Pakistan, but also the entire region, claimed Muhammad. He said the project could serve as a gateway to European markets for trade activities.
According to Muhammad, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government was focused on improving economic, education, health and industrial sectors, adding that special focus was being given to the Baloch to end their sense of deprivation. He said the government would ensure a maximum number of projects for Balochistan under CPEC, adding that this would also play out in ensuring they received the maximum benefit from them.
The science and technology minister, meanwhile, said it was promising that CPEC had entered the final stages of its second phase. He said the first phase of the initiative had focused on overcoming Pakistan’s energy shortage and improving the road infrastructure. The second phase, he added, would highlight industrial growth.
According to Chaudhry, special economic zones and industries had been established in the second phase and the third phase would help boost the agriculture sector. “China is keen to provide its expertise in agriculture production to Pakistan,” he said.