ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman yesterday said Pakistan’s government and the people were pivotal to the success of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Speaking at an event on CPEC here, she said Pakistanis should keep their differences aside when talking about national interest.

“But it's time the government put its listening gear on. CPEC is an opportunity which should be operationalised together and the government should spend more time and effort on building consensus and investing in transparency. There is no need to squander this big opportunity, and all provinces must feel that they are part of this big development story,” she said.

The $57 billion CPEC project is expected to be a game shifter for the economy of Pakistan. “CPEC should be seen as a huge opportunity for us. We want this to be an investment opportunity,” Senator Rehman said.–Staff Reporter

She said keeping in mind the way the world was evolving, “we are now living in an era known as ‘The Asian Century’. The global order is changing and I believe that this is a new phase for our region and the world. China has a huge role to play in this.”

China, she said, was exporting its global surplus wisely and projecting soft power through One Belt, One Road in ways it has never done before.

“China is continuing its ambition of Eurasian connectivity and is all set to become a two-ocean power. You cannot roll back interdependence and connectivity, you cannot roll back human society so we are both on the right side of history,” reiterated the lawmaker.

She said: “Pakistan is in dire need of employment opportunities. Our new generation is seeking new jobs and opportunities. Every year four million enter the labour force. With two out of every three Pakistanis under the age of 30, we have a significant youth bulge and we need to provide the youth with real employment opportunities, and China can play a key role in creating the conditions that spur economic growth”.

Highlighting the important role, the PPPP government played in the initial stages of CPEC, she said her party had its relationship with China even before others. During Asif Ali Zardari’s presidency, he visited China nine times and laid the foundation of China’s investment in Gwadar, she recalled. The Senator said connecting the roads and seaports via old and new routes was a PPPP vision that benefited both countries.