ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has invited the leaders of parliamentary political parties over a briefing on Pak-China Economic Corridor project, to be held at the PM House on May 13.

Finance Minister, Senator Ishaq Dar had announced at the dinner hosted by former President and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari last Thursday that a briefing for leaders of parliamentary political parties on the project would be arranged at the PM House.

Soon after the Prime Minister’s return from visit abroad, on request from the Finance Minister, the said briefing for the leaders of various political parties has been arranged at the PM House.

Dar has already contacted the leaders of the MQM, PPP, ANP and PTI on phone and on behalf of the PM extended them invitation to attend the briefing.

It is pertinent to mention here that to allay the concerns of political parties on the route and other related issues, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal had a detailed meeting with the heads of various political parties including the one sitting on the treasury benches. During the meeting, he made it clear to the political leaders that the route of the project would be finalised by the technical people from both Pakistan and China, and the government of Pakistan could not make any unilateral changes in it.

Sources in the ruling PML-N informed The Nation that PM Nawaz during a meeting with party leaders directed them to address concerns of all the political parties on the project, as he did not want to see the project land in political controversies.

It was on the PM’s advice that Ahsan Iqbal had distributed documents relating to the route among the parliamentarians in the National Assembly, so that the heads of various political parties must see for themselves the nitty-gritty of the agreement reached between the two neighbouring countries.

The importance of the project could be judged well from the fact that Premier Nawaz would himself be monitoring the project and in this connection has constituted a special unit to be headed by him to ensure the smooth, speedy and transparent execution of the corridor and installation of LNG-fuelled power plants in the country. “The PM will personally monitor the uplift programme from time to time and take immediate decisions to remove the impediments in the execution of these projects,” said PM’s spokesman Dr Musadik Malik.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has thanked Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif for the hospitality extended to him during his visit to Pakistan.

Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong handed over President Xi’s letter to Prime Minister Sharif at the PM House, in which he acknowledged the excellent arrangements made by the Pakistan government to ensure the success of his visit.  The Chinese President in his letter also reaffirmed support to an abiding all-weather bilateral Pakistan China relationship, characterising the two countries as “Iron Brothers.”

He also expressed his commitment to the success of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project.