PESHAWAR: President Mamnoon Hussain on Friday declared the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project a lifeline for the people of Pakistan and warned the propaganda against the multibillion dollar proposed corridor would harm the country.

“The CPEC project is very important for Pakistan as it will bring about economic prosperity,” he told a function organised here at Governor’s House in connection with the 140th birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

KP Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra and parliamentarians and elders of tribal areas attended the function.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and political parties have serious reservations about the current status of the corridor.

Mamnoon warns propaganda against multibillion dollar project harmful

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak didn’t attend the function as he is currently in China.

The president denied changes in the CPEC route and said the corridor was being built in line with the original plan.

“Good news is that the Chinese investment under the CPEC project has increased to $57 billion from earlier $46 billion and Pakistan is winning war against terrorism,” he said, adding that the credit for landmark achievements went to the current government.

Mr. Mamnoon said the CPEC project would enhance regional connectivity and bring people closer and that regional countries, including Central Asian Republics, intended to benefit from the multi-faceted project by becoming part of it.

“The future of Pakistan is very bright. Pakistan is going to become one of the world’s greatest, powerful and prosperous nations for which we should work hard with more dedication and professional commitment,” he said.

The president urged the people to unite against corruption and socially boycott corrupt elements.

He said terrorism had been eliminated in the country due to the Zarb-i-Azb military operation.

Mr. Mamnoon said implementation of the National Action Plan was successfully underway and that peace had been restored in Karachi.

He said the dignified return of the internally displaced persons to Fata was the top priority of the government besides restoration of civic, education and health facilities in their respective areas cleared from terrorism.

Paying tribute to the Quaid-i-Azam, the president said Mr. Jinnah was a great personality having numerous qualities and achieved unprecedented successes in life by keeping the national interest supreme.

He said the Quaid-i-Azam had a great love for Pakhtuns and therefore, he visited their areas on many occasions.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra said the selfless role of security forces and tribal people and sacrifices rendered by them had resulted in the restoration of peace and normalcy both in KP and Fata.

He said the reforms process was being carried forward in Fata in accordance with the wishes and hopes of the local residents.

Later, the traditional Khattak and Gilgit-Baltistan dances enthralled the audience, while the students of Army Public School Peshawar received applause for singing national songs.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Fata parliamentarians also called on the president.

Published in Dawn December 31st, 2016



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