LAHORE - A Chinese delegation, led by Vice Chairman of National Development and Reform Commission of China, Wang Xiatao called on Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif at Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad and discussed different matters including China-Pakistan Joint Cooperation Committee and long-term CPEC.

According to a handout issued here, the chief minister said the government and the people of Pakistan are thankful to the leadership China for the gigantic project of CPEC which he termed a game-changer initiative for the economic progress of Pakistan.

“This plan will usher in an economic revolution from Khyber to Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan.”  Shehbaz said CPEC will prove catalyst of a new era of economic prosperity and as a result, Pakistan will get place among the countries having strong industrial economy.

He added:  “The CPEC project is equally beneficial and economically viable. After the CPEC, the announcement of construction of a new airport by China in Pakistan is another beautiful Chinese gift to Pakistan and we are thankful to the Chinese leadership for that. The game-changer project of CPEC is the largest project of its kind in the history of both the countries and it has, rather, written a new history of cooperation between the two countries. This project has given a new dimension to the long-lasting and enduring friendship between the two countries.”

The CM said China has given a proof of its true friendship with Pakistan in the shape of CPEC. He pointed towards the different agreements agreed upon in the 7th session of China-Pakistan Joint Cooperation Committee and said that work on the establishment of exclusive economic zones should be started from tomorrow positively so that these zones and other aligned projects could be completed as soon as possible and the people could also reap the fruits.

The chief minister said that CPEC has helped overcome the energy crisis in Pakistan and due to it, the energy needs of agriculture, trade, industry and other sectors are being fulfilled. The mega energy project of Sahiwal has been completed six months before the deadline. Similarly, first solar energy project under the CPEC has also been completed while 1320 megawatt electricity will be produced through the energy project of Port Qasim of Karachi. He said that Pak-China friendship is based on deep economic cooperation, mutual trust and selfless passions and it is sanguine that work on CPEC is going on in full swing due to the full attention and interest shown by both the countries and added that this project will have far-reaching effects.

The Punjab Chief Minister said that internal and external conspiracies, aimed at obstructing the CPEC project, are being countered and political and military leadership are jointly striving to make this joint project of prosperity and collective economic development of three continents, a success. CPEC is a reality and a bright chapter of future development and the elements engaged in hatching conspiracies against it will not get anything except failure. No conspiracy will be allowed to succeed against the CPEC, he added. He said that different steps are in progress to bring a marked improvement in every walk of life in Pakistan in collaboration with China and added that successful completion of energy projects is a self-evident proof of wise strategy of the government. He said that China has heavily invested to strengthen the national economy of Pakistan and economic projects have been started at a large scale which would leave positive economic impacts, not only at Pakistan but at all the relevant countries of the region. The ongoing mega projects are going to be completed before the schedule in Pakistan and their transparency and quality can be got checked through any standards. He said the energy projects under CPEC are also completed in a record period of time.

He said the pioneering technical university of the country is being established in the provincial capital of Lahore through Chinese cooperation. This university will provide many opportunities to the youth to get latest education and training of different modern skills.

Meanwhile, 35 billion dollars are being spent on different energy projects. He said that different training facilities have been provided for learning the Chinese language in Pakistan so that any communication-gap may not hamper the progress in trade and industrial sectors and people-to-people contacts. It is need of the hour that full attention should be given to the industrial development along with agriculture, he added.

He commended the economic cooperation and investment made in Pakistan by the Chinese leadership and said that CPEC will usher in a unique development in the region. He said that CPEC will result in tremendous progress and development in the region and commended that joint efforts and commitment of political and military leadership for successful implementation of the mega project of CPEC, by countering different internal and external challenges, is exemplary.