ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has requested China to add Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project to CPEC portfolio and sought Chinese collaboration for establishing desalination plant in the country’s most populated port city.

“My top priority is to expedite the CPEC projects to restore the confidence of the Chinese investors,” said Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal during a meeting with Ms Pang Chunxue, Chinese Charge Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan, on Tuesday. Federal Minister for Planning told Chinese Charge d’ Affairs to Pakistan Ms Pang Chunxue that progress in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been expedited since the new government came into power and regular meetings are being held for the implementation of the projects.

The minister stressed that incumbent government will maintain lasting working relationship with China in the same spirit as it was in 2013. This is unfortunate that during that last four years, Special Economic Zones were not developed which led to downturn in investment from Chinese investors.

During the meeting, the minister also said that Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had already requested China to add Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project in CPEC. The minister also urged the Chinese official to resolve the issues of Pakistani students studying in China. In this connection, 200 students are being issued visas so that they complete their studies in China.

Similarly, the minister also suggested that Pakistan and China should start working on Space Technology and said that Pakistani astronauts should be given the opportunity to go to space with the Chinese. This act will further take the relationship between the two countries to new heights higher than the skies, he added.

The minister also pointed to the shortage of water in Karachi and asked the Chinese official to collaborate with Pakistan for establishing desalination plants in the city to overcome paucity of clean drinking water. Ms Pang Chunxue assured to extend full support of China to uplift the water related projects.