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Islamabad- Consensus was reached between the federal and provincial governments to make China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a success for the brighter and prosperous future of the country. The provincial governments have expressed their outright support in a pre-Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting at the Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform in Islamabad. The 6th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee between Pakistan and China is scheduled to be held in Beijing on December 29 this month. Ministers, senior officials and experts from both countries would review progress on the ongoing projects under CPEC framework on this occasion.

A meeting chaired by Minister for Planning Development and Reform (PD&R) Professor Ahsan Iqbal was held at Planning Commission Islamabad and was attended by the Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervaiz Khattak, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz-Ur-Rehman. Sind was represented by the Minister for Transport Nasir Hussain Shah whereas Minister for Industries Punjab AllaUddin, Minister for P&D Azad Jammu Kashmir Dr. Najeeb Naqi Khan represented their respective provinces. Sifullah Chatha, chief secretary Balochistan represented his province. A large number of federal secretaries and provincial secretaries along with senior officials also attended the meeting.

 “Federal Government wishes to ensure inclusion of all provinces and territories to benefit from the gigantic project of CPEC”, remarked Professor Ahsan Iqbal while talking to the media after the meeting. Chief Minister KP, Pervaiz Khattak and other participants vowed to fully participate in the upcoming important meeting of the JCC scheduled in the next week.

Minster for PD&R Ahsan Iqbal said that participants of the meeting discussed agenda of the next JCC and deliberated on projects proposed by the federal and provincial governments. “It has been decided that Federal and Provincial Governments will take up the case of Pakistan jointly and effectively represent on this bilateral forum”

Ahsan Iqbal maintained that inclusion of new projects in CPEC will open doors for new era of development and as a result the project would get a momentum. He said that we all should think beyond our personal affiliations and partisan politics and instead work jointly to ensure successful completion of this fate changer project.

Governor KP Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said that this project is not only a game changer for Pakistan but for the whole region. He said that the projects to be initiated in federally administered tribal areas (FATA) would pave a way for prosperity of war affected areas.

 Pervaiz Khattak, Chief Minister KP, while expressing his full support for CPEC, said that he along with other chief ministers would fully participate in the forthcoming JCC meeting at China. He further said that his government has provided a priority list of the projects to be included in this mega project.

“We all are united for the completion of this important project in letter and spirit as it provides an agenda for a developed and economically stable Pakistan, said Hafiz Ur Rehman, Chief Minister Gilgit Biltistan.

Minister for Transport Sindh, Nasir Hussain Shah said that Pakistan People’s Party takes full ownership of China Pakistan Economic Corridor as it aims on development across the country. He expressed his gratitude over approval of the two projects for their inclusion in the CPEC framework; Karachi Circular Rail and development of Kiti Bandar Seaport, proposed by Sindh government.

Allau Uddin, Minister for Industries Punjab said that his government has proposed different industrial zones to be developed under industry cooperation between Pakistan and China. “We are working to ensure creation of maximum jobs through CPEC projects” added the provincial minister.

Minister P&D AJK, Dr. Najeeb Naqi Khan also appreciated federal government for considering a number of road projects under CPEC for AJK.

Earlier, while apprising the participants, Ahsan Iqbal said that CPEC has grabbed attention of the whole world and this multi-billion project is being discussed and lauded at every forum. Meanwhile, many countries are showing their willingness to join this project. “CPEC has created hopes amongst the friends of Pakistan and it terrified the foes” he added.

He urged all the stakeholders to work jointly against those lobbies who are waging campaigns to mislead the masses and make this project controversial.

He said that after successful implementation of early harvest projects in energy section, construction work is underway on Western route which will be completed according to its stipulated time. He said that impletion of a number of projects in Gwadar and industry cooperation will be started soon after this forthcoming JCC.

He urged the provinces to propose economically viable and feasible sites for establishment of the industrial zones under CPEC. “The selection of site should not be based on wishes rather it has to be based on principal of marketing that should attract the investors in order to ensure success of this important sector”.

The participants agreed to curtail their long list of proposed special economic zones to two priority industrial zone from each province. Further, they agreed to identify two projects in the field of infrastructure and energy sectors to be considered for inclusion under CPEC.