Islamabad – Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday said that 85 million jobs were up for grabs in China due to the relocation of those industries there that had lost their competitive advantage, and CPEC provided Pakistan with an opportunity to have a major share in these jobs.
He was speaking to party workers and youth delegations from Balochistan.
“Our enemies in 2013 were branding Pakistan as the most dangerous country. Now they are hatching conspiracies by creating doubts about CPEC’s success,” he said, and added, “But all their efforts are destined to fail.”
Ahsan was of the view that the world’s narrative about Pakistan had completely changed after CPEC dream turning into a reality and transformation of Gwadar into a new centre of development in the region. The minister further said that the whole nation had resolved to protect CPEC. “The connectivity being provided through road infrastructure and development projects across the province has ensured mainstreaming of Balochistan, leading to the eradication of sense of deprivation of the people for the first time in the history,” he added.
He hoped that Gwadar would soon emerge as a centre of modern education with the completion of an international standard university in the port city. “The days are not far, when students from across Pakistan and world will come here to get education and professional trainings,” he expressed optimism.
He said bringing industrial revolution and turning Pakistan into a trade hub were the goals, set to be achieved under the multi-billion CPEC. “The projects in energy, infrastructure and port development will provide basis for industrialization of the country, he said, and added “Made in Pakistan would be considered as a sign of high quality and standard soon.” “People, particularly the educated ones, should not care about the propaganda but should try to seize this opportunity as soon as possible,” he counselled. He seriously dispelled the impression that CPEC would bring demographic changes and people of Balochistan, particularly Gwadar, would turn into a minority.
He categorically said that people of Balochistan had the right over their resources and the government would protect their social, economic and legal rights. Ahsan told the Baloch youth that work on Gwadar Master Plan was also in progress, which was aimed at making this city world’s modern port city. “Like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, Gwadar will soon be a centre of world’s investors and business associations,” he hoped. “The construction of Gwadar Airport will be starting this year, which would prove another milestone in the development of this remote region,” the minister stated. “Furthermore, Gwadar to Quetta and Gwadar to Rathodhero roads have ensured better connectivity and opened up a new era of development in Balochistan,” he added.
He further said that there was a complete consensus among the federating units on the timely completion of projects under the CPEC. “CPEC has provided private enterprises of Pakistan a historic opportunity,” he said, and added, “It is their duty to take maximum advantage of the industrial cooperation being planned under CPEC.” “The establishment of economic zones would bring maximum employment for local youth,” he added.
“Enemies of CPEC are the enemies of Pakistan, who cannot digest the remarkable success we achieved by converting CPEC from a piece of paper into a billion dollars investment projects. The 50 billion dollars project has emerged as a leading project of regional cooperation, which is paving way for peace, prosperity and development Pakistan and whole Asia,” remarked Ahsan.