ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s recent visit to China is likely to bring a ray of hope for the people, stricken by poverty and hours-long power outages. If all goes as expected and projects dreamt by the Prime Minister, the country would get deliverance from pestering issue of load-shedding and national economy would revive.

During the five-day visit, both the countries signed eight MoUs and documents of cooperation in the fields of power production, renewable energy, trade and political cooperation. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited Chinese companies to Pakistan along with their project proposals on high speed trains, power production and dams projects.

The Pakistani delegation led by PM Nawaz got overwhelming response from Chinese government as well as the private companies who seemed keen to invest in Pakistan to help the country rid of pervading energy crisis.

The Prime Minister’s visit also got immense applause from all circles including the politicians, businessmen and civil society as all of them believed that China would surely lend Pakistan a helping hand in this hour of need.

In his comments on the Prime Minister’s visit, the Federal Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi termed the visit as fruitful to serve the nation in future. Talking to APP, he said the remarkable aspect of the visit was the meetings of the Prime Minister with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to discuss the ways to address energy crisis and develop infrastructure.

Commenting on the visit, Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid said the construction of an international-level airport as well as access roads in Gwadar will generate job opportunities to thousands of local people, besides offsetting the rising trend of extremism in the region. He said the port city has the potential to take the country’s economy to great heights, and the Pakistan-China economic corridor could bring it in line with developed countries.

Hamid said traders and decision makers of both countries are optimistic that trade between the two countries will take it to US$ 15 billion in next three years. “Pakistan got a new lease of life as all-weather friend China promised to pull Pakistan out of its economic woes and horrendous energy crisis that has slowed down economic growth to a mere 2.4 per cent of GDP,” he stated. He said the boom in the construction industry will help offset the rising unemployment especially in South Punjab and interior Sindh where educated youth does not find respectable jobs to make both ends meet.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said several agreements signed during Prime Minister’s visit to China would help review economy and address energy crisis in the country.

Talking to APP, he said that the visit would further strengthen Pak-China friendship bonds and yield positive results for the development of the country.

“The significance of the visit is that Pakistan’s economic revival, resolution of energy crisis and strengthening the federation through linkage of road and rail infrastructure have been linked to our strategic partnership with China,” he added. Mushahid said the Pakistani leadership has shown great sincerity during the meetings, and expressed hope that agreed projects will be completed within stipulated time period under the supervision of the Prime Minister.

Talking to APP, the PML-N MNA from NA-109 said that being a neighbouring country and having Chinese control on Gwadar port, Pakistan will also avail lot of benefits of fast progress in China. He said that the PM’s successful visit to China would lead to further strengthening Sino-Pak collaboration and provide relief to the people of Pakistan. He said over the past five years, energy crisis has worsened and the people were badly affected due to the energy crisis. He urged all political parties to support the government’s steps to redress the sufferings of the people.