Finance Minister rejects India’s contention on China Pakistan Economic Corridor says seven neighbours theory, totally fallacious, war phobia can only be defeated through economic development

Islamabad, June 02, 2015 (PPI-OT): Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar has said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was envisioned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the Chinese leadership which is now becoming a reality. CPEC would be beneficial not only for China and Pakistan but also for the people of whole region, he added.

Minister Dar stated this on Tuesday while meeting with Dr. Baige Zhao, Co-chairperson of RDI, the joint Pak-China Think Tank on CPEC, Ms Hongyan Zhang, Mayor of Karamay City of Xinjiang and other members of the visiting Chinese delegation.

The Minister on this occasion said signing of CPEC between Pakistan and China had paved the way of economic prosperity for three billion people in the region. He said that out of the total volume of 46 billion US dollars, projects worth 34 billion US dollars were in the private sector. We have encouraged the participation of the private sector in undertaking these projects, Finance Minister said.

The Finance Minister on this occasion referred to statements from Indian leadership and said it was frustrating to see a third country objecting to bilateral economic cooperation between China and Pakistan as it is in violation of all established norms of international economic relations. He summarily dismissed contention by the Indian leadership that the route of the corridor was controversial.

The Minister also categorically rejected Indian leaderships seven neighbours theory, describing it as totally fallacious. He said there was nothing controversial about the route of CPEC and the areas it passed through were all part of Pakistan. India he said was misunderstanding Pak-China cooperation. Dar added that CPEC was not against anyone’s interest. “War phobia can only be defeated through economic development. Peace and prosperity can be achieved with economic advancement”, Finance Minister remarked.

Minister Dar said the Government has taken all the political parties on board regarding CPEC and they were all on the same page by endorsing CPEC APC meeting held on 28th May 2015. Dr. Baige Zhao, Co-chairperson of RDI endorsed Finance Minister’s views on CPEC and said Chinese government and Pakistan are on the same page. She agreed that undoubtedly CPEC would not only be beneficial to the people of China and Pakistan but people of the whole region.

She informed the Minister that RDI, a joint Pak-China think tank was being established to focus on the CPEC projects and that it would be carrying out studies and research making these projects meet great success. She also mentioned about the establishment of Karamay Forum in the Chinese Xijinag Autonomous Region on the pattern of Boao Forum.

She said the idea was to bring together policy makers, parliamentarians, prominent business concerns/companies and members of the youth from both countries for a useful discourse on economic and social development. She invited the Finance Minister to attend the Forum’s meeting on 9th August 2015.

Dr. Baige Zhao also on this occasion thanked Pakistan for its cooperation with regard to founding of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) which she said would provide developing countries of Asia infrastructure financing, a new voice and greater say in international economic affairs. Minister Dar said he was honoured to sign the MoU on AIIB on behalf of Pakistan as founding member.

Starting with 22 founding members, Dar said AIIB had rallied up support of another 35 countries under its banner now. He said AIIB would compliment not hinder the activities of international financial institutions like World Bank, ADB etc. Minister Dar also welcomed Dr. Zhao’s idea on the establishment of CPIC (Information Corridor) which would serve the purpose of information and knowledge sharing between Pakistani and Chinese people.

Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence, Mushahid Hussain Syed who was accompanying the Chinese delegation acknowledged Ishaq Dar’s efforts for achieving consensus among the political parties on CPEC. He said Finance Minister Dar had supported monitoring of work on CPEC projects through parliamentary monitoring committee for sake of complete transparency.

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