QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan on Tuesday met Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing to review the development projects being carried out under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The CM and the ambassador agreed to expand the development projects under CPEC and Chinese investment in the province to serve the interest of locals. The two sides also decided to resolve the issues that had caused delays in CPEC projects on a priority basis.
The meeting between the two also discussed installation of a 300MW power plant in Gwadar, the Gwadar Free Economic Zone and the Gwadar East Way Expressway. They also discussed security arrangements for the Chinese engineers and companies working on the said projects.
The CM told the Chinese envoy the governments at the Centre and in Balochistan “see CPEC as the only solution to put Pakistan on the track of development”.
“Today’s meeting marks the beginning of a new era of strong relations between the Balochistan government and Chinese officials,” he added.
Kamal said the government intended to proceed with CPEC in a favourable environment. He said his government had taken steps to utilise the province’s natural resources for the prosperity of the province.
He said the province had many expectations with the new government. “We want to step in the future instead of discussing the past,” he added.
The CM said that the government would use its constitutional powers and take decisions for the greater good of the people. He vowed that his government would make all-out efforts to make CPEC successful.
Ambassador Yao Jing told CM Kamal that the Chinese government would assist the Balochistan government for social development in the province. “Chinese investors seek to invest in mineral, agriculture and energy sectors, and we will continue supporting the new provincial government,” he added.
Yao Jing assured the provincial government of China’s support in the construction of a forensic lab in Quetta and a Solid Waste Management project in Gwadar.
Balochistan Chief Secretary Akhter Nazeer, provincial ministers, secretaries and Chinese investors were present at the meeting. The participants of the meeting also decided to work on mechanisms beneficial for provincial economy and social development.
Moreover, the Chinese delegation informed the meeting that the desalination plant installed with the cooperation of Chinese companies had been imparting clean drinking water to the people of Gwadar at an appropriate cost. The delegation agreed to foster banking cooperation between the two countries.
Meanwhile, Balochistan Governor Justice (retd) Amanullah Khan Yasinzai addressed a ceremony at a local hotel and said that Pakistan would become a “hub of trade activities due to CPEC”.
Yasinzai said the future of the country was linked with the completion of the Gwadar Port. He added the project would also allow the land-locked Central Asian Republics to have access to Gwadar through CPEC. He urged China to extend full cooperation and impart technical skills to the youth of the province.
On the occasion, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said that government of China and Pakistan wanted to further strengthen their bilateral relations.
He said China is ready to extend cooperation to the provincial government for improving the socio-economic conditions of the people.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2018.