CPEC testimony to Pakistan's deep-rooted friendship with China: official
Photo taken on May 15, 2023, shows the dam of Suki Kinari Hydropower project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Mansehra district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan. (CGGC/Handout via Xinhua)
China has always been the most trustworthy friend of Pakistan, said Pakistan's Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal, who hails the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a testimony to and a living example of Pakistan's deep-rooted friendship with China.
ISLAMABAD, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan's Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal has hailed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a testimony to and a living example of Pakistan's deep-rooted friendship with China.
In the remarks made on Thursday, he said China has always been the most trustworthy friend of Pakistan.
Launched in 2013, the CPEC is a corridor linking the Gwadar port in southwestern Pakistan with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport, and industrial cooperation.
In marking the 10th anniversary of the CPEC, Pakistan's planning ministry has scheduled a number of events to promote the CPEC and highlight its achievements and contribution to Pakistan's socio-economic development.
Speaking at the opening event of the celebrations, Iqbal said that Pakistan will always remember the role China played in bringing investment to Pakistan at a time when even Pakistan's own investors were shying away from investing in the country.
This aerial photo taken on Feb. 28, 2023, shows the view of dormitories beside a man-made lake at the Thar Coal Block-I Coal Electricity Integration project in Sindh province, Pakistan. (Thar Coal Block-I Power Generation Company (Pvt) Limited/Handout via Xinhua)
"Pakistan was grappling with 16 to 18 hours of daily load-shedding, drawing international ridicule, as it seemed as we were living in the stone age, with people resorting to using lanterns for lighting ... the CPEC swiftly addressed the crisis by completing power projects ahead of schedule, allowing Pakistan to illuminate its homes and overcome the energy shortage within a remarkably short time frame," he added.
The minister also paid tribute to hundreds of thousands of "unsung heroes, the Chinese workers, and officials who have spent many years in Pakistan, away from their families."
He said that during the last 10 years, the Chinese staff of the CPEC were more devoted to the program than to their own families, and made the CPEC a success story.
"The success of the CPEC showed to the world how two countries which are like iron brothers and are friends can work mutually in a win-win paradigm to bring opportunities for people in both countries," he added.
In his address, Nadeem Javaid, chief economist of the Pakistani government who also works as the focal person on the CPEC, said that the Pakistani side meticulously drafted CPEC documents to address the pressing needs in improving the socio-economic development across the regions.
Aerial photo taken on April 9, 2022, shows a view of the Karot Hydropower Project in Punjab province, eastern Pakistan. (CTG/Handout via Xinhua)
"I'm confident that with the continued commitment and support of both authentic governments, the CPEC will further progress and achieve its objectives and become a model of successful economic cooperation and development in the years to come," he added.
Speaking at the event, Pang Chunxue, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, said that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the CPEC. Over the past 10 years, the CPEC has made outstanding contributions to Pakistan's economic and social development. Its great achievements have attracted worldwide attention.
"We are fully convinced that the celebration of the 10th anniversary will create a good momentum in advancing the CPEC, making more people get to know and understand the CPEC, telling more success stories of the changes brought by the CPEC, enhancing the confidence of all classes for the CPEC and promoting the CPEC cooperation to a new higher level," she added.