Economic corridor: Chinese official sets record straight

Published: March 2, 2015
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PHOTO: PPI

PHOTO: PPI

ISLAMABAD: 

A Chinese official has denied that the route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has been changed and insists that both countries had agreed to only one route from the outset.

“Islamabad and Beijing agreed on a single route and the question of us changing it never arose,” he told a group of journalists during an informal interaction in Islamabad on Sunday. He asked not to be named as he is not allowed to speak on record on the matter.

The clarification – a first ever from any Chinese official – comes amid allegations by some political leaders that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has modified the original alignment of the corridor. The Awami National Party in particular has accused the ruling party of
altering the route to deprive parts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

Talking to the journalists, the Chinese official said the corridor’s current alignment was finalised after thorough and in-depth feasibility studies, and would benefit Pakistan greatly.

“Debate on the alignment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will only create divergence between different regions and parties in Pakistan,” the official said. “It is not conducive to the unity and development of Pakistan and should come to an end for the country’s fundamental interest.”

He added that all circles in Pakistan are expected to ‘understand and support’ the construction of the corridor, and work together to build an environment of ‘friendly public opinion’ so that the project can benefit the people of the country as soon as possible.

“The Economic Corridor will cover populated and major areas of Pakistan, and consist of energy projects, transportation infrastructures and economic zones,” the official said, reiterating that the main intention behind it was to bring benefits to people all over Pakistan, including in K-P and Balochistan.

The official, however, said that “security issues should be taken into consideration” while constructing the corridor. He added that federal and local authorities are expected to provide necessary security as a precondition for construction.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2015.

 

Reader Comments (4)

  • JD
    Mar 2, 2015 - 1:15PM

    “The Economic Corridor will cover populated and major areas of Pakistan”

    Why waste so many words.. just write Punjab.Recommend

  • Junaid
    Mar 2, 2015 - 2:13PM

    @JD:
    Gawadar is in Punjab? It has to pass through all provinces and it is ……Recommend

  • Reality Check
    Mar 2, 2015 - 2:54PM

    I am a pashtun and I have to say it does not make any sense to make the corridor and not make it pass through or close by our industrial areas, I think we forget that this corridor will also be used by our industries and our exporters to china and to the world through Gawadar. IT would be utterly useless to make it pass through areas that will realize the benefit given to it in decades, we as a nation cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity. The end points are known Kashgar and Gawadar, both in minority provinces so therefor this whole debate is stupidity and that too by the political party (read PTI) which called all this a loan and said it isnt necessary for us and because of whose dharna the projects were delayed as the chinese president could not visit.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Mar 2, 2015 - 8:21PM

    We now have a clear statement from a Chinese official which confirms that “Islamabad and Beijing agreed on a single route and the question of changing it never arose.” The official further said “The corridor’s current alignment was finalised after thorough and in-depth feasibility studies, and would benefit Pakistan greatly.”

    In view of the foregoing, the official pointed out “Debate on the alignment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will only create divergence between different regions and parties in Pakistan,” and added “It is not conducive to the unity and development of Pakistan and should come to an end for the country’s fundamental interest.”

    As such, for the good of us, the needless bickering that has been going on about the change of route should stop now.

    We also have to keep in mind that by far the greatest investment on the project will be made by the Chinese. And while the route will open up some areas of China and provide a shorter route to connect these with the world, it will bring great benefits to us as well. So, good sense demands that in our rush to grab yet more benefits, we do not adopt an attitude which puts off the Chinese and endangers this as well as other projects in Pakistan which they are planning to invest in.

    KarachiRecommend

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