The two-day CPEC Summit, being hosted by Dawn Media Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Development, kicked off at Karachi’s Bagh-i-Jinnah on Monday.
“We look upon CPEC as a partnership between two governments,” said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is the chief guest, while addressing the summit. “It is a new form of cooperation.”
“Three years ago CPEC was unheard of — today it is known globally. The BRI initiative of Chinese President Xi is a project for generations,” he said, “Recently, we discussed security and connectivity with Afghanistan, who also recognises CPEC as an opportunity.”
“CPEC has now become a reality — two power projects under the initiative have been completed and the third one is about to be finished.”
‘CPEC is not a death trap’
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal in his address talked about the progress and development made in the country during the tenure of the PML-N’s government.
“This event proves that Karachi is changing,” he said, adding that when the PML-N came to power in 2013, the city was known for target killings and extortion.
“This is an age of development and growth, with the speed of an electron,” he remarked.
Talking about the Belt and Road initiative, he termed it a huge opportunity. “Pakistan will become a hub of development with the help of this project.
“We made regional connectivity a key component of our Vision2025 project,” he said, terming CPEC the biggest flagship project of the One Belt One Road initiative.
“China extended its hand towards Pakistan when no one wanted to invest even 10 dollars.”
Addressing the reservations about CPEC, Iqbal said: “There are lobbies that are not happy with CPEC — it is not a death trap.”
“Some say China will become the East India Company; they haven’t read history. China seeks partnership. There is nothing to fear for Pakistani businesses […] this is a propaganda.”
“Love live China-Pak friendship,” Iqbal concluded.