WASHINGTON - Pakistan has been recognised as the 'Best Country for Infrastructure Development in South Asia' by the "Emerging Markets", a publication of the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting 2016, in recognition of its massive progress in the field.

The country award was received by Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani on behalf of the Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal, at a ceremony in Washington, DC, on Saturday during the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings, according to a press release of Pakistani embassy.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Jilani thanked the "Emerging Markets" for recognising and supporting Pakistan’s development trajectory, which he said, was inextricably linked to peace in the region. Pakistan, he said, was committed to regional connectivity and share the fruits of prosperity with all neighbors.

He expressed confidence that the Government’s people-centric development policies and regional economic cooperation would usher in a new era of prosperity.

Ahsan Iqbal spearheads the infrastructure development in the country. The ongoing major projects include building of new thermal power plants, the construction of a 700 km LNG pipeline and the upgrading the Karachi-Lahore railway track to name a few.

"The centerpiece of the massive infrastructure development work is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which involves construction of rail and road network, gas pipelines, industrial zones and development of the Gwadar port," the press release said.

CPEC would connect China’s western region to Pakistan and is aimed at revolutionising the economic progress and enhance regional connectivity.

"The award is a unique honour for Pakistan that recognises the country as one of the most exciting and important destinations as far as infrastructure development is concerned," the press release added.