Central Asian States interested in CPEC: Ahsan Iqbal

December 11, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was just a piece of paper but Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) executed it.

Ahsan Iqbal said that current government has resolved the issue of load shedding and defeated terrorism in the country.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal while inaugurating 28th Meeting of Regional Planning Council of ECO in Islamabad said Pakistan has called for greater connectivity, enhanced trade and closer cooperation for development of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) region.

The Minister said that they would have to focus on human resource development for economic development.  He said that the world was facing challenges of terrorism and extremism and law and order was inevitable for development. Ahsan Iqbal said that ECO members would have to ensure conservation of natural resources for our succeeding generations.

Later, talking to media, Ahsan Iqbal said that the present government has defeated power outages and terrorism. He said we have been able to register the highest growth rate and our target for the current fiscal year is six percent. The Minister said Central Asian States are evincing great interest in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects for trade through Gwadar port.

The Minister said we will have to work and collaborate proactively to prepare our people to embrace the challenge of latest technologies and innovations.

He said challenges in political, security, economic and environmental fronts require regional and global cooperation to address them effectively. Ahsan Iqbal emphasized the need for more intra-ECO trade and called for development of efficient network of transportation through road, rail and air for this purpose. He said apart from direct flights between the member-states, there should also be cooperation and facilitation in visa regime for businessmen and people.

The Minister for Planning expressed satisfaction over projects, like TAPI and CASA-1000 but added that the forum should work for greater cooperation in energy. In his address, ECO Secretary General Halil Ibrahim elucidated different activities being carried out by the organization for socio-economic development of the people of the region. He lauded the launching of CPEC and called for tourism promotion in the region. INP