WASHINGTON -  Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an economic initiative which is open to all interested countries.

The special assistant was speaking to a selected gathering of foreign policy experts and US government representatives at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

He highlighted the achievements of the government in bringing economic stability and domestic peace to Pakistan, said a press release received here on Thursday from Washington.

Dilating upon Pakistan’s sacrifices and achievements in the fight against terrorism, Fatemi stated that, “Since June 2013 the writ of the government has been established in large parts of the tribal areas of Pakistan and social and economic activities taking place in these areas are a testimony to this fact.”

This had come at a huge cost for Pakistan, he stated. The country had sacrificed thousands of lives of both civilian and security personnel in the fight against terrorism but its resolve to eradicate the menace remained strong as ever.

Highlighting the various steps that the government had taken to restore the country’s economic outlook, he stated that the crippling power shortages that had beset Pakistan for years, would be a thing of the past by the end of the next year.

He described Pakistan’s efforts to normalise relations with India and reach out to Afghanistan for peace and stability as the center piece of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision of peaceful and prosperous neighborhood.

He, however, lamented the absence of any reciprocal desire on the part of some of Pakistan’s neighbours.

Speaking about Pakistan-US relations, Fatemi emphasised that, “Pakistan attaches great importance to its ties with US.”

“The US is an important strategic partner in both the security and economic domains for Pakistan and we look forward to building on the existing convergences in the relationship as well as addressing mutual differences if any, through continued engagement in the weeks and months ahead as President Trump’s Administration takes charge in January next year,” observed Fatemi.

He termed encouraging some of the recent pronouncements by the President-elect indicating US willingness to play its part in helping with certain important issues facing the South Asian region.

Fatemi said Pakistan had achieved several milestones on financial and economic front in last three years.

He said international community had recognised the government efforts to develop economic and social sectors in tribal areas.

Fatemi said whole of the world has appreciated Pakistans’ war against terrorism, however, sacrifices rendered by its armed forces and people will always be remembered.

He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will not only bring progress to Pakistan but also ensured prosperity of whole region. Fatemi said Pakistan and the USA had firm relations and both the countries are working in different sectors.

He expressed the hope that the new President Donald Trump will continue to work with Pakistan to maintain close relations.