LAHORE - Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal has said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project provides a great opportunity to Pakistan for making economic progress.

“Such opportunities came to a country in centuries. The successful completion of the CPEC will make Pakistan's development irreversible,” the minister said while addressing the second Alumni Reunion at University of Engineering and Technology (UET) yesterday.

He further said that Pakistan was now on the way to economic development as such political stability was inevitable to ensure consistency in policies for its continuity and to achieve the vital economic goals. Ahsan Iqbal said South Korea, Malaysia, China, Turkey and Singapore developed themselves through political stability, continuation in economic/development policies, investment in social development, education, science and technology. These countries used their professionals and technocrats as tool to achieve development and did not indulge into any conflict or war, he added.

Ahsan Iqbal was of the view that the 20th century had been a century of political concepts but the 21st century was of economic ideology. Only that country could advance at global level that had an ability of wealth creation, justified distribution, and efficient in ensuring its sustainability on competitive basis, he added.

“Change in destiny of 200 million people of Pakistan cannot be done overnight, as it requires years,” he said, adding that the present government was striving to ensure social justice; level playing field and equal access of everyone to opportunities, as it was the vision and ideology of Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal.

The minister mentioned that three years ago, the western media and global institutions had been terming Pakistan as dangerous state but today the same media and institutions were all praised for Pakistan and declared it a rising economy in the world. He cited that now European countries, Central Asia, Russia and UK etc were eying Pakistan and showing their keen interest to be part of the CPEC.

The present government, Ahsan said, had also the credit of initiating mega energy projects by manipulating all resources - coal, hydel, wind, solar and renewable energy, very speedily, and till 2018, it would add up to 11,000 mega watts of electricity into the system, which was unprecedented in country's history.

He also called for revival of students’ unions but under a certain set of rules and discipline. There must not be any iota of violence and political interference in these unions, which ensured healthy academic activities, he stressed.

Besides Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) Chairman Javed Saleem Qureshi, Lahore UET Vice Chancellor Fazal Ahmed, former VC Muhammad Akram, and renowned engineer Jawad Ahmed also spoke on the occasion.