Pak to be 'industrial hub' of South Asia, says Iqbal on CPEC

ANI | Updated: Mar 19, 2018 13:37 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar 19 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan would be the 'industrial hub' of the entire South Asian region soon, after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is built.

In an interview with a private television channel, Iqbal said that the CPEC project would help to improve drastically in social infrastructure, industrial cooperation, agriculture, energy and other key sectors, adding that it would help to create millions of job opportunities for the Pakistani youth, The Dawn reported.

He underscored that when the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was sworn into power in 2013, Pakistan was facing various challenges such as energy shortfall, terrorism and deteriorating law and order situation.

However, with its effective policies and the implementation of CPEC project, the government helped to overcome energy shortage, reduced terrorism and addressed the law and order situation.

"Some 11,500-megawatt electricity was added to the national grid during the last four years. About USD 35 billion has been spent in the energy sector only and there was not even a single penny of loan included in it, rather it was investment under the CPEC," Iqbal asserted.

The Pakistani leader further said that the USD 62 billion economic corridor was launched after 'comprehensive consultation and consensus' from all political parties. He also termed the CPEC project as a 'gamechanger' for the country's economy as well.

He said that Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan would become the 'gateways' for the economic corridor and trade zones would be set up at all provinces in Pakistan.

He added that Chinese and Pakistani companies would make large-scale investment in the trade zones, which would not only create new jobs for the citizens but also help to transfer 'new technology to Pakistan'.

The building of the USD 62 billion economic corridor is a combination of building roads, rails, power plants and economic free zones in Pakistan.

Thousands of Chinese engineers are currently working on the project. When built, it will link Gwadar to Xinjiang region in China, through Khunjerab Pass, giving Beijing a secure and shortest trade access to international markets.

India is against the CPEC project since it passes through the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) region. (ANI)