GWADAR: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sunday categorically stated that CPEC is for entire Pakistan and its enemies are enemies of Pakistan.Pakistan will leave no stone unturned to materialize the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in time.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was speaking at a grand opening ceremony at the Gwadar port on Sunday marking the operationalisation and opening of trade activities at the port, a key project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It was attended by top brass of the political and military leadership of the country.
PM emphasised Pakistan’s commitment to China’s One Belt-One Road initiative.
“We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring the CPEC and all the projects under its umbrella are materialised within the given time,” he said.
“This idea was conceived only two years ago, and this day marks the breaking of the dawn of a new era.
“CPEC is for entire Pakistan and no region or province will be left out of it,” the PM said, in an apparent attempt at putting to bed the reservations of smaller provinces that claim the project doesn’t benefit them.
The Prime Minister said it is an historic day marking the materialization of the vision and idea of one belt one road. He said it is materialisation of a vision and idea that was conceived only two years ago and today it is dawn of a new era for the huge population of this region. He said CPEC is a vision of President Xi of one belt one road and Pakistan’s Vision 2015 which seeks to transform Pakistan into a regional hub of trade, commerce and manufacturing by harnessing Gwadar’s geo strategic location. He said the CPEC will integrate three regions of China, South Asia and Central Asia.
Nawaz Sharif said he was convinced of President Xi’s philosophy of sharing fruits of development and it is indeed need of our intense conflict region and increasing polarising world.He said the arrival of pilot mega trade convoy from Kashgir toGwadar Port is a proof of friendship between Pakistan and China. He said the newly constructed roads in Balochistan have opened up new areas which were inaccessible.
“The newly-constructed roads in Balochistan have opened up new areas that were inaccessible and deprived of development… and have brought peace to a volatile region,” the premier said.”The government of Balochistan and the Army have been successful in making the local population a stakeholder in development… Development can never be sustainable if it creates islands of property.
It must reach the lives of those who have remained mired in a trap of poverty and backwardness,” he said.The One Belt-One Road project integrates development of various regions, he said, adding that it integrates with Pakistan’s Vision 2025 which seeks to transform Pakistan into a hub of trade and commerce, harnessing its geo-strategic location into a geo-economic advantage.
“The government has spent Rs49 billion on these projects. Next year, projects worth Rs 200b will be launched,” the PM said. CPEC will help integrate South Asia, China and Central Asia and offer opportunities for people in this region, and investors all over the world, he said.Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Asim Bajwa earlier tweeted that the first mega trade convoy of containers had arrived from China and will be loaded onto ships.
Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong said that the Gwadar sea port will bring prosperity not only to the people of Pakistan, but the entire South Asian region,
Addressing the Gwadar’s opening ceremony here, he thanked Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership for their cooperation and support, making their dream true.
The economic relationship of the two countries has reached new heights through the formal opening of Gwadar under China-Pakistan economic corridor that is a pilot and major project of one road one belt’s initiative.
Sun Weidong told the ceremony, “This the first time that a trade convoy successfully passed through the western part of Pakistan from the north to the south. It proves the connectivity of the local roads and the realisation of the concept of one corridor with multiple passages.”
“This is also the first time that the Gwadar port is exporting containers to overseas destinations. It proves the port has restored it designed handling capacity,” he said. “This is also the first time that Pakistan and China co-organised a trade convoy through Pakistan to Gwadar port.”
The ambassador also highlighted the projects, being implemented under the CPEC and said they will help to overcome the socio-economic problems, particularly meeting the energy requirements.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri welcomed the Chinese mega trade convoy and termed it a landmark in implementing the grand China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. He appreciated the development vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He also appreciated Chief of Army Staff and Pakistan Army for arranging security of CPEC. He said Gwadar Port is the base of CPEC which will bring prosperity to the country and particularly Balochistan.
Addressing the ceremony, Chinese Company Sino Trans’s representative said the first trade convoy actualized the connectivity through CPEC. He thanked the Pakistan Government and armed forces for providing best security to the convey. He said China and Pakistan are best neighbours, partners and friends. He hoped that the CPEC will be completed on time.
In his remarks, Director General Frontier Works Organization Major General Muhammad Afzal said China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a classic example of Pakistan-China friendship and cooperation under one belt one road initiative. He said the trade convoy covered three thousand kilometers journey from Kashgar to Gwadar. He said the trade convoy reached Gwadar after passing through Gilgit Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh. He said FWO constructed 873 kilometers of highways in Balochistan in two years.
The gala ceremony was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, three services chiefs, federal ministers Kh Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, Mir Hasil Bizenjo, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and senior civil and military officials as well as Ambassadors from 15 countries.
The convoys that joined up in Quetta took diverse routes. One convoy came fromChina, carrying almost 150 containers which were then shifted onto Pakistani trucks at the Sust border crossing south of Khunjerab in the Northern Areas.
Two ships — Al Hussain Zanzibar and Cosco Wellington — were berthed at Gwadar to receive the cargoes. They are setting sail for ports in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the UAE and the EU late on Sunday, according to information provided by the FWO.