Chairman's Message for CPEC website on the New Year 2017
Source : Pakistan-China Institute (PCI) Date : 01-01-2017
It gives me great pleasure to be sending this message on CPEC to all the readers of the dynamic and fast-growing website on the occasion of the New Year. 2016 has been a year of consolidation for the CPEC and the CPEC has lived up to its role and reputation as the flagship and pilot project of the 'One Belt, One Road' (OBOR) initiative of President Xi Jinping. Of the Six corridors that were announced for OBOR, CPEC is moving on a fast pace of development and meeting most of the deadlines. Seventeen Early Harvest Projects are on track for completion according to their deadline of 2018. 10,500 jobs have been generated for Pakistanis and upon completion of other projects of CPEC, the figure will be up in the vicinity of half a million new jobs for the people of Pakistan.
What is most important is that the launch of CPEC and its benefits are already evident for Pakistan and its people. CPEC was launched when nobody was willing to invest in Pakistan and a large section of the Western press was dismissing Pakistan as a "failing state". Coming from the world's second biggest economy, CPEC has been a timely morale-booster and a vote of confidence in the future of Pakistan, which now has a different image as an investor friendly destination.
Pakistan is now playing a pivotal role in regional connectivity since CPEC will be connecting South Asia with Central Asia in the context of the emerging "Greater South Asia", a Geo economic entity that now includes China, Iran, Afghanistan and the Central Asian Republics, apart from the South Asian subcontinent.
Driven by energy and economy, roads and railways, ports and pipelines, CPEC has already led to reviving the Thar coal project, helped making Gwadar port functional, it is making a contribution to the resolution of Pakistan's long standing energy crisis as well as reviving the ailing railways sector and uniting the federation of Pakistan through economic development and opening up of less developed areas.
In this context, the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC has been playing its role by working diligently through committee meetings, 19 meetings held so far, working for consensus through consultation, transparency of projects and inclusive development where priority should be given to the less developed regions in the federation of Pakistan.
Through the proactive, patient and persistent efforts of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, pursuant to the consensus arrived at the All Parties conference held in the Prime Minister's House on May 28, 2015, the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC has been successful on the following counts:
- 4-Lanes Motorway on the Western route of CPEC;
- Inclusion of provinces and provincial Chief Ministers in all deliberation of CPEC including the Joint Coordination Committee;
- 300 MW power station for Gwadar;
- Settlement of the issues of TORs of the Special Security Division for protection of the CPEC projects and personnel.;
- Settlement of issues of Port Qasim power project between the federal and provincial governments;
- Initiation of wind corridor feasibility study in the provinces of Balochistan and KPK;
- Land acquisition of Sukki Kinari project in KPK;
- Inclusion of Gilgit-Baltistan in all its deliberations and preparation for special development projects for GB;
- Inclusion of FATA in CPEC which has now already been recommended by the Sartaj Aziz Committee on FATA reorms.
- UEP wind power project in Jhumpir.
Given this context, with CPEC consolidated and capped by consensus from the provinces of Pakistan which is evident from the recent meeting of the apex body on CPEC, the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), which met in Beijing on December 28-29, 2016, where the Chief Ministers of KPK, Sind, Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan also participated, there is now reason to believe that 2017 would be the year of take off of CPEC, a harbinger of progress and prosperity not just for Pakistan but also peace and development in the region.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on CPEC