LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday said India was upset over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the government knew well what conspiracies the enemies were hatching to foil this project.

“Pakistan is sure to emerge as a major economic power as a result of the CPEC and this fact is not being digested by the Modi government,” he said.

He was addressing a function in connection with Chief Minister’s Chinese Language Scholarship Programme, Shehbaz Sharif Merit Scholarship Programme and to honour 18 boy and girl students obtaining more than 500 marks out of 505 in 9th class examination at the CM office.

Chinese Consul General Yu Boren, provincial ministers, Zakia Shahnawaz, Rana Mashhood Ahmad, vice chancellors of universities, teachers, intellectuals, columnists and a large number of students as well as their parents were present on the occasion.

The chief minister also gave laptops to the students going to China for learning Chinese and those going to leading universities of the world for PhD as well as the students getting more than 500 marks in 9th class examination.

The chief minister said the Punjab government was making useful investment in the future of the country. He said 50 boy and girl students going abroad for PhD in the best universities as well as 130 students leaving for China for learning Chinese had been selected purely on merit and eligibility. Shehbaz said the expenditures were being borne by the Punjab government on these students and it was a useful investment for a bright future of the nation. He said the boy and girl students, returning to Pakistan after learning Chinese, would serve as a bridge between Pakistan and China for students of other provinces of the country had also been included in this programme. “These talented boy and girl students will help in furthering CPEC.” He said these students would promote CPEC which would stay forever.

The chief minister said CPEC was also a part of ‘one belt, one road’ programme of Chinese President Xi Jinping. As there is a huge support for his splendid vision, opposition to it has also intensified,” he said, adding a neighboring country was lobbying against this project and for this reason a seaport was being built in front of Pakistan’s seaport. He said there was collusion between India and some other countries against CPEC as they felt threatened by this project. Shehbaz said he was sure that Pakistan would move ahead of India owing to its strengthening economy as a result of CPEC.

The chief minister thanked Chinese Consul General Yu Boren for fully cooperating in the issuance of visas to the students. He urged the students to utilise all their energies and abilities in learning Chinese. He also asked them to closely observe the progress made by China. He said CPEC was a great gift of China to Pakistan and the speed at which CPEC projects were being implemented was unprecedented. He said solar project at Bahawalpur Solar Park had been completed speedily. Similarly, he said, work was in progress expeditiously on 1,320 megawatts coal power project in Sahiwal, which would be completed by the middle of 2017.

Shehbaz said CPEC projects would remove darkness from the country, boosting industrial sectors. He said Chinese President Xi Jinping, the prime minister, the Chinese ambassador and the people of that country had extended all-out help to Pakistan by launching this splendid project.

Referring to Orange Line Metro Train project, the chief minister said it was the most transparent public-welfare project. “The Chinese leadership and government also have shown complete confidence in its transparency by giving billions of rupees for this project,” he asserted. He hoped work would also be carried on this project expeditiously. He said labourers, widows, clerks, students, journalists, politicians, teachers, vice chancellors, judges and generals would also travel by Orange Line Metro Train. He expressed the hope that despite problems and challenges, the train project would be completed on time, bringing a revolutionary change in the transport system. He said although the Lahore High Court had stayed work at some places, the project was in progress round the clock at other places and an appeal was being filed in the Supreme Court against the decision of the high court. He said completion of civil work of 27-km-long metro track would remain a challenge and would be completed on time as it was the project of the whole country, being China’s gift to Pakistan. He said the government would come up to the expectations of the people of Pakistan and China.