China has proven to be real friend of Pakistan: PM Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Wednesday said that China has proven to be real friend of the people, State and the government of Pakistan. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was Pakistan’s strategic economic initiative that has attracted the world in general and regional countries in particular. “CPEC has changed the negative security narrative into an exceedingly positive economic narrative for Pakistan,” he said while chairing a meeting to review progress on CPEC at PM House on Wednesday.

The meeting took significant overview of the Gwadar Projects including Gwadar East Bay Expressway; New Gwadar International Airport; Necessary facilities of fresh water treatment, supply and distribution; Technical and Vocational Institute; Pak China Friendship Hospital; Development of Free Zone and Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan. It was emphasized that local population must be given priority while giving incentives for industries.

The meeting reviewed at length the benchmarks set for numerous energy, transport infrastructure and industrial projects. They also discussed the deliverables with particular focus on development of Gwadar Port along with socio economic uplift projects in the area. Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan’s economy was in shambles in 2013 when the present government came into power.

He said it was China that supported and helped Pakistan in the economic revival at such crucial juncture for which the government and people of Pakistan were indebted to the Chinese leadership and people of China. “The visionary Chinese leadership supported us in translating the idea of CPEC into reality,” the Prime Minister said. Recalling his first official landmark visit to China in July 2013, the Prime Minister said that the visit marked a new phase in the development of the bilateral relationship by putting economic cooperation and connectivity squarely at the centre of the bilateral agenda.

The meeting was briefed that energy projects under the CPEC including Coal, Hydel, Wind, Solar as well as transmission lines were on track. The participants of the meeting were briefed on the status of each and every energy project under CPEC in terms of timelines, transparency and cost effectiveness. He said besides the infrastructure projects including Road, Rail, Aviation, Data Connectivity was also being executed simultaneously on fast track basis.

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