Course of CPEC can’t be changed by violence, PM warns detractors

Kakar unveils Pakistan-China Friendship Hospital, Desalination Plant in Gwadar n Says Armed Forces to protect Chinese workers even at cost of their lives.

GWADAR  -  Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday urged the people of Balochistan, particularly, the youth to avail the historic opportunity of development in their province as the detractors of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were about to lose their relevance very soon.

The prime minister, addressing the inauguration ceremony of Pak-China Friendship Hospital and Gwadar Seawater Desalination Plant here, said the journey of CPEC would surely move forward, not the backward, so joining the development course would be a prudent decision.

“Those who think to change the course (of CPEC) by force, violence or any other means are committing historic blunder as their relevance will be over very soon. The prudent decision in the nation’s fate is to join the course of development, instead of resisting it and miss the opportunity,” he remarked. The ceremony was attended by federal ministers Sami Saeed and Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Caretaker Chief Minister of Balochistan Mir Mardan Domki, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Jiang Zaidong and the Chinese and Pakistani officials attended the event. 

The prime minister said the ease in the form of reduced travel durations across the province was just due to CPEC intervention.

He told the gathering that trade worth $36 trillion was expected to take place in and around China in the near future, therefore it was a must to join the journey through skill development and claim the share, instead of showing hostility.

He said the journey of China’s modernisation was significance and steering millions of people out of poverty was unprecedented. The prime minister said that the development of China had a positive impact across the region, particularly Pakistan and its Balochistan province. 

He said the clean drinking water had been an issue faced by the Gwadar people and the desalination plant project would address it to a great extent. Besides, the construction of a 150- bed hospital would provide quality healthcare to the people, he added. 

The prime minister also thanked the Chinese ambassador for announcing the solar power project and emergency services for Quetta.

Prime Minister Kakar assuring the all-out support of the federal and provincial governments on the matter of security, reiterated that the Pakistan Army, police and law enforcement agencies would safeguard the Chinese workers even at the cost of their lives. 

He expressed the hope that Gwadar would complete its course of development soon to become a trade hub with the Pak-China cooperation for the benefit of future generations. 

He directed the authorities concerned to connect Northern Zone with main grid to address the electricity issue.

Earlier, the prime minister, along with the Chinese ambassador and Balochistan chief minister unveiled the plaques to inaugurate the projects which followed the presentation of the souvenirs to the prime minister as well as the envoy. 

PM Kakar, later talking to reporters on the occasion, said the direction of the progress of Balochistan was set forth and expressed confidence that the province would witness a new era of development. 

He thanked the provincial government on completion of the development projects, which he said, would facilitate the locals of Gwadar. The prime minister hoped that the financial crunch would be over with the steps taken by the interim government. To a question on funds allocated for flood-hit areas, he said the world was ready to dole out billions of dollars, however, it depended on how Pakistan could secure the climate financing. In his address, Chinese Ambassador Jiang Zaidong congratulated the people of Balochistan over the inauguration of the desalination plant providing clean drinking water. 

He thanked the federal and provincial governments particularly the prime minister for their support to the projects which manifested their commitment to the CPEC. 

He said both the projects of hospital and desalination plant would help uplift the living standard of the people of Gwadar. He expressed the hoped that the both countries would continue to strengthen their cooperation to accomplish the next phase of CPEC.

Chief Minister Ali Mardan Domki said the projects were another example of Pak-China friendship as they would serve the masses by providing quality healthcare facilities and around 500,000 gallons per day of drinking water. He said the shortage of clean drinking water had been a long standing problems faced by the people of Gwadar and the desalination plant would address it. 

He reiterated that the government remained committed to uplift Gwadar at par with international standards. 

In his address through video link, the Chief Executive of the Agency of International Economic Cooperation of China, appreciated the government department, Chinese embassy and project staff for their efforts in the completion of the project.

He said being all-weather strategic partners, Pakistan and China supported each other in development.

He told the gathering the projects would help improve the living standards of the locals. 

He reiterated that China would continue working with PakistaPakistan to complete the projects like Gwadar Airport, and other CPEC projects.

He said the Gwadar Port would play a greater role in high-quality development of CPEC and China would fully support Pakistan in the development of Gwadar. PM invites Emarati investors to explore Pakistan’s business market

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has said the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is Pakistan’s largest trading partner in the Middle East North Africa region with an average annual trade of $9 billion and urged the UAE investors to explore Pakistani market for new avenues. 

In an interview with Gulf Today, he said Pakistan is planning a comprehensive investment promotion strategy in major countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

PM Kakar said Pakistan’s exports to the UAE include agriculture products, textiles and manpower, while the UAE exports petroleum, petrochemical products and hi-tech equipment to Pakistan. 

The two countries also exchange services with each other. Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Financial- technology are new areas of collaboration with much greater potential. 

Pakistan-UAE bilateral trade during 2022-23 amounted to $9 billion, he said.

 He expressed satisfaction that Pakistan’s exports to UAE surged to $1.4 billion in fiscal year 2022-23, highest in the last five years.

On prospects of UAE’s investment in Pakistan, he said attracting foreign investment in all sectors of Pakistan’s economy was the government’s top priority. “Pakistan’s Investment Policy has been designed to provide a comprehensive framework for creating a conducive business environment for attraction of Foreign Direct Investment from all parts of the world including the UAE,” he said.

Currently, he said, there are over 1,000 multinational companies profitably operating in Pakistan, and for many, Pakistan is the most profitable part of their franchise. 

Foreign companies, individuals, multinational corporations can own 100 per cent shares in locally incorporated or unincorporated firms, he added. 

Stressing enhanced investment cooperation, the prime minister said the two countries could explore the areas such as agriculture, energy, mining, information technology, logistics and defence. 

PM Kakar mentioned that in order to revive economy, the government recently established the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to generate new and attractive investment opportunities from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in priority sectors such as agriculture, mining, IT manufacturing and defence. He mentioned the Pakistan Investment Road Show, organised by the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in Dubai, which attracted a large number of global businessmen and investors.

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