CPEC a gift from China to Pakistan: PM Nawaz

China waited for PML-N rule before making CPEC investment, claims PM Nawaz Sharif

If the economy continues to improve, Pakistan will soon be able to pay off IMF. AN EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif quoted on Thursday Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor was a gift from China to Pakistan.

"He said this is a gift to you from China. They were also waiting for the time when our government would be in power so that they could make this investment," the premier said while referring to the $46 billion investment made by the Chinese government under CPEC.

Addressing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) parliamentary meeting in Islamabad, the prime minister claimed had been drastic improvement in the country's economy since 2013.

'CPEC's western route to be ready by 2018'

"Foreign exchange reserves have increased phenomenally for the first time in history," he said. "Pakistan has become strong enough to stand up on its own feet, and if the same continues, we will be able to say goodbye to IMF soon."

Taking a jibe at opposition parties, PM Nawaz said, "Certain elements are eager to come into power by any means".


"Pakistan is our [PML-N] first priority," he said, adding that "success does not come by doing sit-ins, instead it comes by doing something for the masses."

"Not only are power plants being set up on a fast pace, the government has also been able to save Rs1 billion from the actual cost of the deal," he claimed.

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Saying that development projects should have started years ago, PM Nawaz urged members of Parliament to hold former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf accountable for depriving Pakistanis of electricity for nine years.

"Bring Musharraf and his people to court, they should be held responsible for all that they deprived the people of Pakistan of. They should be held accountable before the Parliament."

Referring to the coal reserves in Thar, the premier said reserves were being tapped for the first time in 70 years, "whereas India has always used coal from Thar for their power projects."

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