CPEC to promote economic connectivity between Asia&Europe: Masood Khan

Lahore: Sardar Masood Khan, President AJK said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Project was aimed at promoting economic connectivity between Asia, Europe and Africa. He said under the auspices of CPEC, 4 mega projects including 2 hydropower projects, a Special Economic Zone in Mirpur and the Mansehra-Mirpur Expressway will be built which are at different stages of planning and implementation. The President made these remarks while speaking at the inaugural session of the two-day seminar in Lahore on “Threats to Security in the 21st Century: A Global Way Forward”, organized by the School of Integrated Social Sciences, University of Lahore.

He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has thrown up huge opportunities for Pakistan adding that CPEC is not a substitute but a catalyst that will drastically improve connectivity and promote constructive economic activity within the region. He further said that our huge youth bulge is an asset but they may end up as a liability if we fail to equip them with modern education and necessary skills. similarly, we have a huge potential of maritime trade due to our access to the waters of the Indian Ocean giving us access to the Strait of Hormuz.

He said the world should understand that CPEC is designed for connecting countries, building transnational communities for prosperity, and creating conditions for peaceful neighborhoods. President Masood Khan said that Pakistan faces threats from India, the situation in Afghanistan, terrorism, subversion and proxy wars. He said that these existential threats have to be addressed with resolve and dedication. President Masood Khan said that peace and stability in South Asia has always been threatened by Indian hostilities towards Pakistan and its constant interventions in the affairs of its neighbouring nations.

The President said that the world order must be based on upholding human rights and not dictated by real politik, xenophobia and warmongering. If the international rule of law does not become the norm, the world would, once again, plunge into a catastrophic global war, he said. President AJK said that numerous challenges plague the world today creating disarray like terrorism, insurgencies, asymmetric warfare, civil wars. He added that issues like climate change, demographic changes, cyber conflict, energy deficits, water and food scarcity cannot be ignored.

Warfare, he said, has transcended its traditional parameters and today the use of drones and 4th and 5th generation warfare has transformed the global concepts of war. He said that today Europe has become a victim of xenophobic and Islamophobic elements, while hate speech and prejudice have become a norm all over the world.  “Unfortunately, the rule of law and human rights has taken a back seat as strategic, economic and political interests has taken precedence in the new world order”, he said.

Speaking on the situation in Kashmir, the President said that Kashmir is a flashpoint and human rights issue that needs immediate redressed. He said that the international community has adopted dual standards and it is their responsibility to bring India to task over the gross human right violations taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

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