ISLAMABAD -  Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said on Sunday that no one should play politics over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and asked the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman to avoid calling the project exclusively for the benefit of one province.

He expressed those views before leaving for China to attend the 6th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting, which was scheduled for 29th December in Beijing. 

Iqbal will reach Beijing on 26th December for the preparations of the JCC and would also hold meeting with the Pakistan embassy officials.

From Pakistan side, Iqbal will lead the delegation, while vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform (NDRC) will lead the Chinese side.

The chief ministers of all the provinces are expected to attend the meeting on the invitation of the federal government.

In the upcoming JCC, the progress on various projects of the CPEC will be reviewed and new projects will be discussed.

Before the JCC there will be a meeting of senior officials of both the countries on 28th December.

Talking about the objectives of the upcoming JCC, Iqbal said that CPEC was the biggest project of regional cooperation in the world.

The progress on this project astonished the world, which makes Pakistan’s friends happy and worries the enemies.

He said, “we should not play politics on this national project as the success of this project depends on  unity and commitment.”

Iqbal further added that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman should avoid calling the CPEC as project for a single province.

There is no big or small province and all the provinces will get equal benefit from this project, he added.

Iqbal maintained that earlier Imran Khan did not accept this project, and termed it a fraud with the people.

However, the federal government is helping KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak with an open heart. 

He said that the negative politics of Imran khan had caused a heavy loss to the KP government.

While talking about the western route of the project, Iqbal said that 650 km from Gwadar to Surab had already been completed and made functional within a short period of time, which would help to uplift the socio-economic lives of the under-developed areas of Balochistan.

He said that the road from Burhan to DI Khan would be completed by 2018, and the two-lane road from DI Khan to Zhob had also been approved.

The minister further said that industrial zones would be established with the consultation of all the provinces.

He further added that Gwadar projects would be discussed with the Chinese officials in a meeting.

There are number of investors who want to invest in Gwadar Industrial zone, said the minister.

Iqbal said that work on energy projects was in full swing and electricity would be produced from coal in Thar after 70 years.

The minister said that political stability and continuation of policies was the pre-requisite to take benefit from the CPEC.