The claims and reports that recently surfaced regarding China’s reluctance to expand the scope of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are factually incorrect and misleading, the Ministry of Planning, Development & Special Initiatives said on Sep 28.
A press release issued by the ministry stated that China and Pakistan are committed to expanding the scope of the mega developmental project to include new areas of cooperation such as water resources management, climate change, and tourism.
These areas were already part of the CPEC’s Long Term Plan, and both sides agreed during the deliberations before the 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) to work out the detailed contours of these projects in upcoming sessions of respective Joint Working Groups (JWGs).
The JWGs are technical bodies comprising experts from both sides, responsible for conceiving and evaluating project proposals in their respective areas.
It is a standard procedure for CPEC projects, and it ensures that all proposals are carefully considered and that they meet the goals and objectives of the Long Term Plan.
CPEC projects have already been implemented and are ongoing in Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and the coastal areas of the country.
Even more projects in these areas are planned for the future, the ministry stated.
China and Pakistan have a time-tested friendship, and CPEC has greatly enhanced Pakistan’s energy, logistical, and physical infrastructure capabilities.
The benefits of CPEC are widely distributed throughout Pakistan.