CPEC to advance under Shehbaz’s watch: senator
BEIJING: Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed on Sunday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will take the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) forward with new vigor and vitality, and in a rejuvenated manner, ensuring multifaceted development of the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Discussing the future of bilateral relations and cross-border collaboration in CGTN’s programme The Hub with Wang Guan, the senator said that the newly-elected premier met the acting Chinese envoy in his first day in office to reiterate the importance of Pakistan’s relationship with China and to express conviction to take CPEC ahead.
Mushahid said that China had a very old and longstanding relationship with Shehbaz because when BRI was launched with CPEC as its centrepiece, it was taken forward by then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif and then-chief minister Shehbaz.
He said that under the new government, there will be broad-based acceleration in Pakistan-China relations in all domains.
“China is number one, in terms of foreign policy priority, which the prime minister made clear when he listed the list of countries, and his formulation has been warmly welcomed in China, so we have no doubt,” he added.
The senator said that China is the only country for which there is across-the-board national consensus, and the entire political leadership considers it to be Pakistan’s number one friend.
“So, China’s friendship is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy, and I see this relationship being further developed and taken to new heights of development,” he added. Responding to a question about continued momentum of CPEC projects, he said that the first phase of the flagship project was completed while Nawaz was still in power.
“The second phase is bigger and you will perhaps see acceleration in the field of agriculture, information technology, tourism, and infrastructure, especially railways,” he added. Mushahid said that PM Shehbaz had already announced during his visit to Karachi that his government would expand CPEC so there would be multifaceted development of the flagship project.
The senator remarked that CPEC framework had united the federation through infrastructure and energy projects and it had resolved a lot of problems. “So, we feel CPEC is the character of a better tomorrow for the people of Pakistan,” he added.