GILGIT: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would bring economic prosperity in Gilgit-Baltistan.
He was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day seminar on CPEC here. The federal minister was chief guest at the seminar.
Mr Iqbal said the perception that GB people would have no share in the mega project was baseless and wrong, adding the region would become a model of ecological economy. He maintained that GB was gateway of the project.
“GB is face of Pakistan. We will make the region as Switzerland of Pakistan under CPEC.”
The federal minister said that the nation had to fail the designs of the enemies of the project. He also rejected the allegation that CPEC was China-Punjab Corridor.
He said under the CPEC, 15 power projects would be set up in Sindh and 13 in Balochistan. He announced that through optical fiber Khunjirab and Islamabad would be connected by next year, saying GB people would get 3G and 4G internet facility.
The minister said the modern internet system would help create job opportunities for youth in GB. He said economic zones of CPEC would be established in GB, AJK and four provinces of Pakistan.
“Under the project, engineering and medical colleges, a university in Baltistan, and various roads would be constructed in GB,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman said GB was entry point of CPEC project.
Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on CPEC in Senate, said GB was pillar for CPEC. “GB is key area for the project and we cannot ignore the region in distribution of economic benefits,” he added.
He said the Chinese government had made special task force for development of GB. He said GB people would get representation in National Assembly and Senate.
Abdul Ghafur Haideri, Deputy Chairman Senate, said the CPEC was national project, and that all people should unite for completion of the project. He demanded establishment of three economic zones of CPEC in GB.
PTI central leader Asad Umer also spoke on occasion.
However, former speaker GBLA Wazir Baig said that there was no single project for GB people in the CPEC.
GB governor, ministers, members of GBLA, lawyers, civil society activists, students from private and government institutions were in attendance.
The event was jointly organised by Karakoram International University and GB government.
Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2016