ISLAMABAD, Feb 21(INP): The Director of China-Pakistan Study Center, Institute of Strategic Studies, Dr Talat Shabbir, stressing the need of alleviating misconceptions among the people about China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has said that the success of the project is vital for China and its failure will adversely affect it.
He was addressing an awareness program on “CPEC Opportunities and Challenges” organized by the Institute of Engineers Pakistan (Rawalpindi, Islamabad Centre).
Dr. Attaullah Shah, Vice Chancellor of Karakoram International University, Gilgit-Baltistan, Chairman IEP-RIC Hafiz M. Ehsanul Haq Qazi, Secretary, IEP-RIC Engineer Najamuddin, Convener CPD Engineer Ahmed Shamim, Dr Sharif Bhatti, senior engineers Mahmood Khan, Qudratullah and Hafiz Yousaf were also present on the occasion.
Dr Talat Shabbir said CPEC still faces many challenges as many countries could not digest Pakistan’s prosperity.
He said the project has brought China and Pakistan much closer than ever. He further said some political players in the region fear that China-Pakistan cooperation could hurt India’s influence that is why conspiracies are being hatched by India to sabotage the CPEC’s mega project.
Some people, accused China of self-directed interests behind CPEC but it was entirely their misconception.
He said when the project was launched, no one was ready to invest in Pakistan as it was in the grip of terrorism and other security related issues and it was China which extended helping hand at that crucial time.
Dr Talat Shabbir said, CPEC is a key project for Pakistan’s economy and development and a historic opportunity that needs to take advantage of it. Work has been done on energy and infrastructure in the first phase. Since the start of the projects, energy production has increased by more than 90 percent, benefiting millions of Pakistanis. A network of more than 3,000 km of roads has been completed. Yes, 80 percent of the first two phases of the project have been completed while 20 percent of the work is left on the 22 under progress projects, he added.
He maintained that there was a need of generating employment opportunities for the people in the country and the timely completion of CPEC would eliminate the menace of unemployment. The current pace of work on CPEC is not the same as it should be. He added CPEC is not the only plan to solve economic problems, we also need to focus on other problems and issues confronting the country.
He said that political stability in the country was a big challenge, there was a lot of scope for CPEC in Gilgit-Baltistan. “We have to be alert till CPEC is completed as challenges will remain till the completion of this project.
Talat Shabbir said that the government should improve the capacity of its people so that Pakistanis could get maximum employment opportunities in Chinese projects. He said, the benefits of CPEC should also reach the backward areas which is a big challenge. He said that China’s development model is very centralized while ours is very weak; we need to learn from China’s development model.
He said that informing people about the real facts about CPEC is also a big challenge for us. By completing CPEC, we can make a history. We have to fulfill our responsibilities regarding this project, he added.
Closing the event Engr Hafiz Ehsanul Haq Qazi thanked the Speaker for his enlightening lecture and emphasized the need for indoctrination of Public at large on the importance of the CPEC project for Pakistan.