ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s special assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi has vowed that establishment of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would bring prosperity besides addressing the energy challenge.
In an interview given to Beijing based Global Times, Fatimi said the overall project of CPEC includes three major areas of activity. One relates to energy projects, the second relates to infrastructure projects, and the third relates to the port ofGwadar.
According to the special assistant, the current total package is of about $46 billion, of which $35 billion are envisaged for energy projects, in which Chinese companies will collaborate with Pakistani companies to set up power plants, because power shortage is the biggest challenge that Pakistan is facing currently. He added that the other $11 billion will be loans extended by Chinese financial institutions.
Giving details about building the port of Gwadar into an economic harbor, Fatimi said that a major element of interest for both China and Pakistan is the upgrading of the Gwadar deep port facilities. The location of Gwadar makes itself an ideal port for all-weather operation as it sits at the mouth of the Gulf. The port is also ideally suited for both entry and exit of items that are of interest to Pakistan, toChina and to the entire region. “We are creating an entire industrial zone around it, because the cost of manufacture in Pakistan is much lower than it is in China. Your production costs will decrease and our own people will also gain employment.China and Pakistan will jointly build an international airport in Gwadar,” the magazine quoted him as saying.
To a question about security, he replied by saying “We decide to create a special force of highly trained people, who will be specially trained, and we will have a special organization backing them, whose task will be to provide the necessary safety and security to the Chinese who are working in Pakistan and Chinese enterprises. The special force will be roughly about 10,000 people. We want to take every initiative to give the necessary degree of comfort and ease to those Chinese that have come to Pakistan.”