No CPEC project on hold: CPEC Authority chief

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ISLAMABAD, Jan. 25 : No China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was on hold and the work was never slowed down, Chairman CPEC Authority Lt. General Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) said, Gwadar Pro reported on Monday.

Work on the eastern, western and central alignments was in full swing, and the second phase of the project was just beginning.

The CPEC Authority Chairman said that underdeveloped areas, especially southern parts of Balochistan were being given importance under CPEC. He said a dam and a desalination plant had been built in Gwadar in a bid to resolve chronic water shortages affecting the inhabitants.

“An airport with the biggest runway of Pakistan worth $ 230 million is also being built in Gwadar,” he said.

Speaking to a delegation of senior officials and researchers of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) at the CPEC Authority’s Secretariat, he said that Pakistan attached great importance to CPEC, according to an official statement released here. Bajwa said CPEC was a national project, and Pakistan was ready to pay any price for its success.

The IPS delegation comprised its Executive President Khalid Rahman, General Manager Operations Naufil Shahrukh, senior associates Amanullah Khan, Mirza Hamid Hasan and others.

Commenting on Phase One of CPEC, the Chairman of the CPEC Authority said the first phase’s success depended on the second phase, which involves business-to-business and people-to-people contacts.

He also said synergy among all stakeholders was required to make CPEC a success. In this regard, Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry was also being revived, he added.

Bajwa stressed the need for projecting CPEC as a regional connectivity initiative to make Pakistan emerge as an economically galvanizing state instead of a security or terror-fighting state on the global spectrum. Afghan transit trade, he added, was also now being facilitated through Gwadar port.