ISLAMABAD : The International Department of Communist Party of China (CPC), in collaboration with Pakistan-China Institute, organized the Second Conference of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism (JCM). The theme was “Working Together to Promote Economic Development and Improve People’s Lives Through High-Quality CPEC Cooperation. ” It was participated by 9 political parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Balochistan Awami Party, the National Party, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam, the Awami National Party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, as well as leading officials from relevant government departments and representatives from business community of the two countries. The first JCM was held in Beijing in March 2019 and this JCM has now emerged as the institutional mechanism between the CPC and Pakistani political parties for CPEC coordination and communication. This online conference of 9 political parties representing both the government and the opposition was the first of its kind in Pakistan that agreed to preserve, protect and promote CPEC, above party lines, since they all view CPEC as a “game changer and a guarantor of a better tomorrow for Pakistan’s 220 million people”. President Arif Alvi, in a congratulatory message to the conference, termed CPEC as ‘an iconic project of the Belt & Road Initiative which will change the destiny of the region and promote regional connectivity’. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s strong support to One China policy and strongly opposed any foreign intervention in internal affairs of China with regard to Hong Kong and Taiwan. He also thanked China for supporting Pakistan on Kashmir issue. The conference was co-chaired from the Pakistani side by the Chairman Senate, Mr. Sadiq Sanjrani and from the Chinese side by Mr. Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of CPC who is a member of the Chinese Central leadership. The 3-hour long conference also had experts speaking on various issues. Mr. Song Tao, Minister of IDCPC in his keynote speech thanked the president of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi for sending the congratulatory letter. While appreciating the consensus to take it forward, party to party cooperation between China and Pakistan is increasing and CPEC is entering into a new era.
Senator Sadiq Sanjrani in his keynote address credited China for promoting regional connectivity with its landmark Belt and Road Initiative and extended Pakistan’s support to President Xi Jinping’s vision of “shared prosperity” and “win-win” cooperation of which CPEC is the practical manifestation. Liu Qi, Leader of CPC Jiangxi Provincial Committee congratulated all the participants for the successful organization of the second JCM of political parties on CPEC. He said that the economic cooperation between Pakistan and 6China is important in high quality construction of CPEC. Moreover, he announced donation of 500,000 masked and 2000 Protective Poersonal Equipment (PPE) to Pakistani political parties. Mr. Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan said that he is happy to see the COVID cases in Pakistan getting lower day by day. The resilient nature of Pakistan-China friendship and CPEC can be gauged from the fact that it survived even the COVID pandemic and has become stronger. Two videos were also played, one regarding the China’s Battle against COVID-19 and other on political consensus between parties in Pakistan and China on CPEC The representatives from the political parties of Pakistan like Senator Sitara Ayaz, Parliamentary Leader of ANP; Dr Ishaq Baloch from National Party; Senator Usman Khan Kakar, provincial President of PKMAP; Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, provincial President of JI; Maulana Asad Mahmood, Parliamentary Leader of JUI-F; and Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, Leader of BAP Parliamentary Party also talked about the defining role of CPEC in the development and upliftment of their respective provinces and Pakistan as a whole. At the end of the conference, a joint statement was adopted unanimously by all the participants, criticized the ‘slander’ against CPEC and said the JCM would maintain ‘strategic communication’ and build consensus amongst political parties.