Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a great initiative for the people of his country and said it is a harbinger of economic development, prosperity and peace. Addressing the CPEC Logistics International Forum in Rawalpindi, General Bajwa said Chinese investment in various fields, including energy, infrastructure, Gawadar port and special economic zones could lay the foundation of a fast developing, progressive Pakistan, if the opportunity is optimally utilized.
Terming the CPEC as a ‘game-changer’, the army chief said the project holds great promise for turning around the economies of Pakistan, Western China and the region. “Pak-China relationship is based on the principles of peaceful co-existence, commonality of interest and shared perception on regional and global issues. We have always stood by each other through thick and thin and at every critical juncture of our history. That is why we are called as Iron Brothers,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) quoted General Bajwa as saying. He said the CPEC is also affirmation of Pakistan’s efforts for a peaceful and prosperous region.
General Bajwa said that Pakistan can only benefit from the CPEC if it prepares itself to embrace it. He added that all national institutions will have to make a deliberate effort to ensure success of CPEC. The army chief stressed on improving the existing laws and regulations in the country to provide a facilitating framework for trade and investment activities.
“CPEC will bring increasing economic integration between the regional economies on the one hand and reduce the development gap within various regions of Pakistan on the other. This however will require transformation of the trade corridors into economic corridors with the help of industrial and urban development, under a unified development framework,” he said. He said the army will provide security to the project but other national institutions will have to come forward and play their respective roles.
Talking about security in the country, General Bajwa said that Pakistan has become much safer than before and normalcy is returning to Pakistan’s economic hub of Karachi, where business community and common people have started to benefit from it. “With full backing of our nation, we are making steady, but sure footed progress in making Pakistan a terrorism and extremism free country,” he said.
General Bajwa assured that the army and law enforcement agencies are vigilant and determined to provide foolproof security to CPEC.