Pakistan to be 'industrial hub' of South Asia after CPEC project: Pak Interior Minister

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Mar 19, 2018, 11:12 AM(IST)

Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. Photograph:( ANI )

Pakistan Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said that Pakistan would be the 'industrial hub' of the entire South Asian region soon, after the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is built.

In an interview with a private television channel, Iqbal said that the CPEC project would help to improve drastically in social infrastructure, industrial cooperation, agriculture, energy and other key sectors, adding that it would help to create millions of job opportunities for the Pakistani youth 

The minister said in 2013 when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came in to power, the country was facing many challenges, including terrorism, energy shortfall, and deteriorating law and order situation. The government with its effective policies, reduced terrorist acts, overcame energy shortage and improved the law and order situation.

"Some 11,500-megawatt electricity was added to the national grid during the last four years. About USD 35 billion has been spent in the energy sector only and there was not even a single penny of loan included in it, rather it was investment under the CPEC," Iqbal asserted.

The Pakistani leader further said that the USD 62 billion economic corridor was launched after 'comprehensive consultation and consensus' from all political parties which is a combination of uilding roads, rails, power plants and economic free zones in Pakistan. He also termed the CPEC project as a 'gamechanger' for the country's economy as well.

He said that Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan would become the 'gateways' for the economic corridor and trade zones would be set up at all provinces in Pakistan.

He added that Chinese and Pakistani companies would make large-scale investment in the trade zones, which would not only create new jobs for the citizens but also help to transfer 'new technology to Pakistan'.

Last week, Iqbal had said that complete development og Gwadar will make Pakistan a hub of regional trade. He further announced that  a genuine programme was initiated to mine coal from Thar, and first coal-based power project in the area which will become operational by the end of this year. He said Thar coal is enough to generate five thousand megawatts of electricity for four hundred years.

Further, he talked about the level of improvement in Balochistan and measures the Government had tajen to address the conditions in the state. 

India is against the CPEC project since it passes through the disputed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) region. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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