Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, the Minister for Interior, Planning, Development & Reform held a meeting today with Mr. He Lifeng, Chairman National Development & Reform (NDRC).
During the meeting, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal said CPEC has transformed Pak-China relationship into a strong economic partnership. CPEC brings great benefits for both countries and provides a platform to integrate regional economies which will bring prosperity for billions of people. CPEC is helping Pakistan modernise its economy and providing opportunities to learn from Chinese development experience. Pakistan has achieved great success in defeating terrorism and security situation is improving fast due to efforts of the government. A security force of over 15,000 personnel has been raised for CPEC projects. All Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects are helping us build Pakistan and are guests of Pakistani nation. Minister Iqbal clarified that there is continuity in policies of government regarding CPEC and expressed satisfaction at the smooth progress of various CPEC projects. He informed the Chairman that the two sides reviewed the progress of various infrastructure projects in the recently held 5th Joint Working Group of Transport & Infrastructure. The Minister for Planning highlighted the significance of ML-I and expressed the hope that work on the project would start in this year. He also requested for early finalization of Gwadar related projects including 5 million gallon per day water desalination plant. While underlining the importance of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs), the Minister hoped that work will move forward at a faster pace in the coming months.
Chairman NDRC, Mr. He Lifeng agreed with Mr. Ahsan Iqbal and conveyed his satisfaction at the good progress achieved by the two sides on various CPEC projects. He urged the two sides to complete the formalities of ML-I at an early date so that work could start within this year. Mr. He Lifeng noted with satisfaction the holding of the 5th Joint Working Group on Transport & Infrastructure and expressed the hope that the Joint Working Groups on Gwadar and Energy will also be held soon. Chairman NDRC highlighted the importance of 7th JCC which would provide a roadmap for the two sides towards the implementation of projects under CPEC by approving Long Term Plan.