President Mamnoon Hussain on Wednesday said the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will see several governments before its completion.
Addressing a joint Parliament session in Islamabad, President Mamnoon said, “Governments come and go but the state remains, hence CPEC too will see several elections and governments before its completion.”
“Reservations shown by certain circles regarding the CPEC project are weightless,” he said, adding if individuals have reservations regarding the project, they must discuss it.
One of Pakistan’s biggest economic projects, CPEC was signed between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Xi Jinping’s government. However, no date has ever been given regarding its completion.
Delving into the ongoing rift between the government and opposition parties, the president said, opposition has no right to impose its will on the government through illegal means.
“While the government should take the opposition’s criticism on economic policies positively, opposition has no right to impose its beliefs on the government.”
Addressing the session, the president said, “[the] Government of Pakistan and all political parties must work together to strengthen democracy.”
“We must ensure that the economy does not suffer due to personal differences.” The president said the democratic march during the last three years has been progressing successfully despite ups and downs.
The president said the political progression is testimony to the fact that political system has gained the potential to face crises successfully.
Referring to the foreign policy, President Mamnoon said, “Pakistan’s foreign policy is based on three factors: constructive diplomacy, non-interference, and trade and economic cooperation.”
The father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted the country’s foreign policy to be based on peaceful co-existence with all neighbours, the president said.
However, he said, “Problems will continue to exist in the region until the Kashmir issue is resolved in accordance with the United Nations resolutions.”
Lauding efforts of the Pakistan Army, President Mamnoon told those in attendance that operation Zarb-e-Azb will be completed by the end of this year.