PM Shehbaz urges India to take advantage of CPEC


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has congratulated the leadership and people of China and Pakistan on the 10th anniversary of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and has urged India to reconsider its position regarding the multi-billion dollars infrastructure project.

In a statement, the premier called China and Pakistan “iron brothers” and said that CPEC is “a tool of cementing bilateral relations of Pakistan and China and the beginning of a new era of mutual partnership”.

The CPEC was launched in 2013 as the flagship project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative. Trade through the Indian Ocean, especially through the CPEC, is set to significantly rise in the coming decades with the emergence of China as a global economic superpower.

PM Shehbaz said that it was “regrettable” for the CPEC project to have faced obstacles for the past four years, with India making “baseless accusations” against the Chinese project. India has long opposed the CPEC, claiming that it impinges on their sovereignty.

The prime minister invited India to reap the benefits offered by the CPEC instead of creating hurdles in its way. He said that the CPEC project will also benefit Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia and the entire region.

He said that “it is not just a project with objectives of improvement in road, rail, port and air routes, but also a great plan for health, education, skill development and partnership in the development process”.

There are also plans to construct nine ‘special economic xones’ across the country under the CPEC project to facilitate technology transfer, industrial collaboration and increase local production.

“The CPEC has the potential to be a game changer project in eradicating poverty, unemployment and the region’s economic slump,” the PM said.

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