Islamabad : Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said government is fully committed to turn around its economy and develop it into a stable and truly progressive country.

He expressed these views while addressing Ministerial Conference on Transport in Moscow .He said that his presence here is a manifestation of the importance Pakistan attaches to various dimensions of transport and connectivity, particularly the sustainable transport. ”In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we are committed to build resilient and modern infrastructure to ensure among others, the provision of sustainable transport systems for all with improved road safety” the Minister said.

He said the conference is indeed a vital achievement made possible by bringing together key stakeholders from governments to engage in a dialogue on sustainable transport and its multiple roles and linkages supporting the achievement of sustainable development goals.

Ahsan maintained that Pakistan is located at the intersection of three engines of growth in Asia, South Asia, China and Central Asia, which has three billion of world’s population. Regional connectivity is one of the key pillars of Pakistan’s vision 2025. He said we have embarked upon various infrastructure development programs to enhance the regional connectivity, improve efficiency of transport and trade logistics sector.

He said that in collaboration with China has initiated China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. CPEC is not a bilateral project between Pakistan and China relations but will serve as a fate changer not only for this region but for other regions and world including Middle East, Europe and Western countries. “CPEC” will help overcome the energy crisis, increasing power generation capacity and fulfilling the electricity needs of the country.

He said the government has taken projects for upgrading the transmission and distribution system. Apart from focusing on energy. and infrastructure, CPEC will also improve the quality of life through social and economic interventions. It also seeks to establish special economic zones, which will create tremendous trade and economic opportunities. This also include development of airport at Gwadar and construction of eastern, western and central alignments would connect all the provinces and regions.

Federal Minister said that Pakistan is also actively pursuing road and rail connectivity projects under Central Asia Region Economic Cooperation (CAREC) framework, which aim at integrating Central Asia into a vibrant economic region with global links.

Ahsan Iqbal said that Government of Pakistan is giving the highest priority to sustainable transport means through sound policies and harmonized standards. “The realization of results of these efforts has started now.” “The commuters of its three major cities i.e. Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Lahore have already taken a sigh of relief because of the operationalization of mass transit systems. Similar mass transit systems are being constructed in other cities namely Karachi and Multan.” “These projects will not only benefit millions of commuters and bring transportation systems of these major cities at par with the developed countries of the world but will also go a long way in promoting the sustainable transport means in the country.”

He apprised the conference that road safety has been included in the National Transport Policy of Pakistan. Road Safety is also made part of every road development project. National Steering Committee with representatives from all stakeholders at the Federal and Provincial Governments Levels has also been established and notified. National Road Safety Plan for National Highways and Motorways has been prepared by Ministry of Communications with consultation of all stakeholders at the Federal and Provincial Governments.