DESPARDES — The multibillion dollar Pakistan China Economic Corridor (CPEC) is Pakistan’s future as well as a tangible reality and no compromise will be made on it,” said CPEC Authority Chairman and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Lt-Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa.
While talking to a delegation of senior journalists on Wednesday, he said the work for its completion is in progress on a fast pace. “There is no political hindrance in its way”. It is non-political, he said.
Bajwa said Pakistan takes decisions in its interest and there should be no doubt that the CPEC project “is in the best interest of the country”, adding that “no external pressure will be accepted”.
CPEC offers a key line to connect the landlocked Central Asian Republics to the warm waters of Indian Ocean. Balochistan province offers the longest land ride of the corridor.
Emphasis is on agriculture, industries, trade, and science and technology sectors in the second phase of CPEC “which is crucial for the development of the country and construction work will soon be started,” Bajwa added.
The second phase is expected to generate massive employment opportunities for Pakistanis. Some twenty thousand Pakistani students will also go on scholarships to China, the country’s “all-weather friend” for decades.
Meanwhile, China has begun the construction of what would be the world’s highest airport on completion, at its northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region where the northern end of CPEC is located.
The airport, which will be built at the Pamir Plateau at an elevation of 4,500 meters, is part of the CPEC – flagship of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The airport construction is expected to complete by the first half of 2022.