Parties pledge to take full political ownership of CPEC

Published May 28, 2015
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — Reuters/File
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: During an All Parties Conference (APC) in Islamabad on Thursday, participants from all parties reached a consensus on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and pledged to take full political ownership.

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal counselled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to constitute a working group consisting of representatives from all provinces to make recommendations regarding developments in the corridor route.

As the meeting concluded, PM Nawaz announced that the western route of the economic corridor will be constructed first, for which funds will be released soon.

Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif at the All Parties Conference on China Pak Economic Corridor at PM House. – APP
Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif at the All Parties Conference on China Pak Economic Corridor at PM House. – APP

Earlier today, the premier pledged to parliamentary leaders that all matters regarding the CPEC project will be kept transparent.

The premier also said that political leaders reserve the right to bring their reservations forward which would be addressed.

He added that moving forward on national matters with unity will send a positive message to China, showing that Pakistan as a nation is committed to the project.

The premier also underscored that the corridor holds great importance in the history of Pakistan as such investments had not taken place in the past.

“China is a friend to Pakistan,” said Nawaz. “China supports Pakistan as a nation without focusing on a particular party.”

He also said that developments pertaining to the CPEC project will move forward in a transparent manner.

Separately, PM Nawaz congratulated Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah over the speedy arrests of culprits behind the Safoora Goth incident in Karachi in which 47 people including women, belonging to the minority Ismaili community, were shot dead on May 13 in an armed attack on their bus.

Read more: Safoora Goth massacre masterminds arrested: Qaim

The APC was convened to build consensus on the CPEC project as the leadership of some political parties from small provinces had shown their concerns regarding the possible route of the CPEC project.

The project is being dubbed as a fate changer not only for Pakistan but also for the entire region.

Earlier, PM Nawaz had called an APC on May 13 to take the political leadership into confidence over the route of the planned CPEC project but the meeting remained incomplete due to the Safoora Goth tragedy.

Take a look: Special committee to oversee CPEC project

During the last session of the Parliament, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah had demanded of the government to call another meeting of the APC to address the concerns of the opposition political parties on the route of the CPEC project.

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