Wednesday May 17, 2017
Web Desk

No demand from China against Pakistani interest in CPEC, Ahsan Iqbal clarifies

Web Desk

KARACHI: Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday said that China has not put any demand in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is against the interest of Pakistan.

Speaking in Geo News' program Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Saath, he said that CPEC is the most transparent project and there is no detail which has not been shared to the Senate and National Assembly committees.

“There is no aspect [of CPEC] which has not been debated in the Parliament. There are a number of briefings which I have given to the chambers. Every detail is on our website,” he said.  

Responding to a question, the minister said that there is no secrecy on the project, however, added that how can a plan which has not been officially approved be shared on a public domain.

“It is inappropriate till both sides sign the document, one party unilaterally announce it,” he added.

“Pakistani side after its approval from cabinet sent the draft to China. From Chinese side it was conveyed to us that they have agreed to us in principal, however, as their senior leadership and stakeholders are busy in the One Belt One Road conference, we need time for their endorsement for the formal proceedings", said Ahsan Iqbal.

“After the summit, probably at the end of this month, they will sign it.”

Planning and Development Minister said that Japan and Korea progressed because it had a strategic partner in the face of US. Malaysia had Japan as a strategic partner. India had the Soviet Union, today, any developing country which needs development it also needs a strategic partner to hold its hand.

"Almighty has given us China as a friend to form a strategic partnership with", he added.

Iqbal said that the motive behind the long-term strategic partnership is to put Pakistan on the path for industrialisation and the agriculture sector towards value-addition.

Rubbishing few rumours, he said, "I don’t know where it is written that Pakistani raw material will be taken and processed in China."

"There is no recommendation in consideration of visa-free entry of Chinese nationals in Pakistan", he further said.