ISLAMABAD: China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority chairman retired Lt Gen ®Asim Saleem Bajwa on Monday rejected the rumors of corridor-related projects being put on hold and said the work on the trade route was never slowed down.
Talking to Gwadar Pro, an online portal covering CPEC, Bajwa said work on the eastern, western and central alignments was in full swing, and the second phase of the project had just started.
He said that underdeveloped areas, including southern parts of Balochistan, were being given importance under the project. He said a dam and a desalination plant had been built in Gwadar in a bid to resolve chronic water shortages affecting the inhabitants of the port city.
“An airport with the biggest runway of Pakistan worth $230 million is also being built in Gwadar,” he recalled.
Speaking to a delegation of senior officials and researchers of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) at the CPECA secretariat in Islamabad, Bajwa said that Pakistan attached great importance to CPEC, according to an official statement released here.
He said CPEC was a national project, and Pakistan was ready to pay any price for its success.
Commenting on the first phase, the chairman said its success depends on the second phase, which involves business-to-business (B2B) and people-to-people (P2P) contacts.
He also said synergy among all stakeholders is required to make CPEC a success. In this regard, the Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry was also being revived, he informed.
Gen Bajwa stressed the need for projecting CPEC as a regional connectivity initiative to make Pakistan emerge as an economically galvanising state instead of a security or terror-fighting state on the global spectrum.
Afghan transit trade, he added, is also now being facilitated through Gwadar port.