BEIJING: Governor of Balochistan Amanullah Khan Yasinzai has said that all political parties in Pakistan are full of expectations for the joint construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a pilot project of Belt and Road Initiative.
“In recent years, the important pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative has been put into practice in the Gwadar Port of Balochistan, which has provided assistance to improve the living conditions of local people,” he told Chinese news agency Xinhuanet.com.
Yasinzai led a delegation of Balochistan Tribal Elders Group for visits to Kashgar region of Xinjiang and the Chinese capital on the invitation of China Association for the Promotion of International Organisation this week.
He reaffirmed that Balochistan is rich in resources for agriculture and mining activities and hoped to make good use of them and expand its mutually beneficial cooperation.
Xinjiang was the starting point of the Chinese side of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the first stop of the delegation’s visit. Visiting local high-tech enterprises, agricultural development projects, and inspecting residents' communities, the compact arrangement has repeatedly refreshed the Pakistani local officials' understanding of China.
“I used to know very little about Xinjiang. I thought it was not very developed here. I didn’t expect to see many development achievements on the ground. The Chinese government has made great efforts to eradicate poverty and ensure law and order and it achieved tangible results,” Yasinzai said.
The governor felt the common aspirations of the people for peace and stability. He acknowledged seeing housing conditions of the local residents improved in Kashgar; the educational conditions were also better.
In a garment processing factory, women workers on the assembly line caught the attention of Yasinzai.
“There are almost all women workers in the factory. I am very curious about how they look after their children. I didn’t expect the local government to provide child care services and even provide free lunches. I have to introduce them to my country one by one,” he said.
"Only by improving people's lives can we achieve long-term stability in a place."
During his visit to Xinjiang, Yasinzai also witnessed the smooth start of the ‘Silu family’ action of China and Pakistan. He said that as a non-governmental exchange brand initiated by the China Association for the Promotion of International Organizations, the ‘Silk Road Family’ has informed people that the ‘One Belt and One Road’ was not only focused on trade, but also on the win-win situation in all areas of people's livelihood.
The initiative will improve the lives of people along the line, he added.
Speaking about the current international trade protectionism and unilateralism, Yasinzai insisted that countries face common challenges such as poverty alleviation and counter-terrorism and they must cope up through joint cooperation.
“All parties should strengthen exchanges and oppose unilateralism,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2019.