In recently concluded meeting of 6th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) to review progress related to China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), some more energy and infrastructure projects have been added in CPEC and China would provide the required funding for completion of projects.
Meeting was held in China, Pakistani delegation was led by Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal along with representatives of all other provinces, while the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Chairman Wang Xiaotao.
Two sides reviewed the progress achieved after the 5th JCC meeting and discussed various issues concerned different projects under CPEC. Meeting reviewed progress on existing projects and a number of new projects identified under CPEC. The project of operationalization of Gawadar port besides construction of special economic zones, energy projects and infrastructural development specially improving the road and rail links have been included in CPEC.
The Chinese authorities, in principle, have approved the inclusion of three important projects of Sindh in CPEC; Karachi Circular Railways, Keti Bandar and Special Economic Zone. The JCC decided to give Special Economic Zone to every province, including Sindh which would have Dhabeji Special Economic Zone. Under CPEC eight industrial zones will be set up with one zone in each province and special areas of Federally Administered Areas, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Gwadar. In meeting transport infrastructure group expressed satisfaction on two big projects including Multan-Sukkur project and Karakorum Project from Havelian to Thakot where work is underway. Under the transport infrastructure, rail based mass transit projects were approved for all provincial capitals and included in the CPEC framework.
Indeed inclusion of new projects in CPEC will give a new dimension to economic cooperation between Pakistan and China. With the inclusion of new projects in CPEC more Chinese investment will come in the country and the overall size of CPEC projects might go close to $60 billion. As claimed by government, we also hope that inclusion of these projects in CPEC would prove a big step towards development of Pakistan and regional prosperity. Chinese media also reported that meeting was held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere and Chinese authorities expressed satisfaction with the progress of projects.
In the past, provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh have shown reservations on the division of projects under CPEC. But it is good omen that we showed unity in the meeting by putting aside petty issues between provinces. Representation of all the provinces conveyed a good message of unity and Chinese leadership appreciated that the whole leadership of Pakistan is supporting the mega projects.
It is also pleasing to know that meeting expressed satisfaction that by the cooperation of the leadership of both the countries CPEC is moving ahead successfully. Government should make CPEC a factor for national unity as all the less developed areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Gilgit Baltistan and Balochistan are part of the project and a number of development projects would be initiated in these areas under the banner of CPEC. It is a pleasing fact that incumbent federal government and provincial governments along with army are united to make CPEC a success.