Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal Saturday said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had great importance for both the countries and Pakistan would become an industrial hub of South Asia after the completion of the project.
CPEC would connect not only China to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, but would also play an important role in regional connectivity, he said while talking to PTV. Ahsan Iqbal, who is also Minister for Planning and Development, said the CPEC would make the entire region developed and prosperous.
The mega project was a game changer for Pakistan as it would bring mega improvement in social infrastructure, energy, industrial cooperation, agriculture and many other sectors, besides creating millions of job opportunities for the youth of the country, he added.
The CPEC, he said, was launched with the consensus of all political parties. The government had held an all parties conference on the matter. The minister said Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan would become gateways of the CPEC.
Trade zones would be set up in the federal capital, all the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, he added. He said Chinese and Pakistani companies would make large-scale investment in the trade zones, which would not only create new jobs, but also help transfer new technology to Pakistan.
He said enemies were trying to sabotage the CPEC project. The arrest of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav testified that fact. However, law enforcement agencies were providing complete security to all those, who were working on the projects underway under the CPEC.
A special force of some 10,000 security personnel had been constituted for the purpose. The minister said in 2013 when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into government, the country was facing many challenges, including terrorism, energy shortfall, and deteriorating law and order situation.
The government with its effective policies overcame all the challenges, he added. He said some 11,500 mega watt electricity was added to the national grid during the last four years. About $ 35 billion were being spent in the energy sector only and there was not even a single penny of loan included in it, rather it was investment under the CPEC, he added.
He said Thar had rich coal deposits and it would become an energy capital of the country after the completion of coal projects. He expressed the hope that the people would against vote the PML-N in the next general election in majority for the continuity of development process in the country.