ISLAMABAD: The government reiterated its stance on Gwadar, saying that the port city is the crown jewel of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative and all developments to facilitate the transit route will be inclusive and will benefit the people in the province.
Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal termed the development of Balochistan as the top priority of the government on Thursday, adding that the $46 billion CPEC would change the fate of the province.
“Energy had been given preference in the projects being completed under the CPEC initiative,” he said, while addressing students and faculty members at Balochistan University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar.
Out of $35 billion energy projects, Sindh province would get $11 billion while Balochistan would get energy projects worth $9 billion, he added.
He said those who wanted to turn CPEC controversial were not in favour of progress and well-being of the people in Balochistan. The minister said Gwadar to Quetta and Gwadar to Khuzdar roads would be completed by December 2016, adding the under-developed areas of Balochistan would be connected with the country after completion of these highways.
Iqbal said the country had been put on the path of development and “we can make Pakistan an Asian Tiger through peace, solidarity and hard work.” He said Balochistan was ignored in the past but now funds were being released on priority. The PML-N government was making new records of service of masses, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2016.