AJK President insists CPEC can help start a new phase of Pak-Russia cooperation
ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan has said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an offshoot of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), thereby any role Pakistan will play between Europe and China will be within the framework of BRI and CPEC combined.
He made the remarks while addressing a seminar titled “Pakistan’s New Role Between China and Europe; Opportunities and Challenges of China’s Silk Road Project”, organised by the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy. Khan emphasised that Pakistan was young and dynamic and it would be among top economies of the world by 2050.
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Elaborating the scope of BRI, he highlighted that it was an unprecedented transcontinental project aimed at global connectivity and economic prosperity. “With massive potential, this initiative covers 68 countries and investment of over $1 trillion.”
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Underlining the importance of European Union’s market, Khan said it was imperative that modern connectivity channels were established. “Both the BRI and CPEC are a conscious effort to reach out to Europe. CPEC is not just a standalone project,” he added.
“Now many regional and extra-regional states are showing interest in it. The Gwadar Port will give Russia access to warm waters for trade, thus beginning a new phase in Pak-Russia cooperation.”
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Khan pointed out that concerted efforts and heavy investments into CPEC would create huge opportunities. Responding to queries, the president clarified that CPEC would continue to be implemented despite a change in governments in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2018.
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