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Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa (retd) quits: Mansoor appointed SAPM to ‘fast-track’ CPEC projects

  • Bajwa, who attended a meeting of the Steering Committee on CPEC on August 2, had no inkling of Mansoor’s appointment as SAPM
Updated 04 Aug 2021

ISLAMABAD: Lieutenant-General Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) on Tuesday resigned from his position as the chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority after the appointment of Khalid Mansoor as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on CPEC Affairs.

The appointment of Khalid Mansoor as Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CEPC is said to be the key reason behind the resignation of Lt.-General Asim Saleem Bajwa (retd) as Chairman CPEC Authority, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

Bajwa, who attended a meeting of the Steering Committee on CPEC on August 2, 2021, had no inkling of Mansoor’s appointment as SAPM. “When Prime Minister has appointed SAPM on Gen. Bajwa, then there was no point for him to continue as Chairman CPEC,” the sources maintained.

He recently visited Balochistan including Gwadar to witness progress on the CPEC projects. He was in close liaison with the Chinese government and Chinese investors in Pakistan.

However, he was not comfortable with Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar due to reasons best known to him, according to sources.

Khalid Mansoor, ex-Hubco, replaces Asim Bajwa as SAPM on CPEC Affairs

In October last year, he had tendered his resignation as SAPM on Information and Broadcasting but decided to continue as Chairman CPEC Authority.

According to a notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, “the Prime Minister, in terms of Rule 4(6) read with Serial No. 1A of Schedule V-A of Rules if Business, 1973, has been pleased to appoint Mr Khalid Mansoor (CV enclosed) as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on “CPEC Affairs” with immediate effect. The appointment of Mr Khalid Mansoor shall be in honorary capacity.”

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, the “prime minister has appointed Khalid Mansoor as his Special Assistant on CPEC Affairs. Mansoor brings with him over four decades of experience working with multiple organisations in energy, petrochemicals, and fertiliser industries. He is expected to lead the second phase of CPEC, which will focus on industrial cooperation.

“Mansoor has extensive experience of working with Chinese companies and has a deep understanding of joint ventures, project development and execution with Chinese partners.

“Mansoor is a well-known business leader and has served as President of Overseas Chamber of Commerce of Industry (OICCI). He has also worked closely with international financial institutions such as the World Bank, IFC, MIGA, OPIC, ADB, DEG, OFID as well as Chinese financial institutions such as China Development Bank, China Exim Bank, ICBC, Sinosure etc.

Lieutenant General (retired) Bajwa said in his tweet, “I bow my head before Allah Almighty for giving me an opportunity to raise and steer the important institution of CPEC Authority as one window for all CPEC projects, charting the future direction”.

Power projects under CPEC: PD asked to resolve issues

Bajwa further said, “the course is set for future progression of CPEC, this journey will go on. My best wishes to Khalid Mansoor, who is fully equipped to take it forward. CPEC is a life line for Pakistan, it will transform us into a progressive and fully developed country Insha’Allah.”

Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar also said in his tweet, “I want to thank Asim Bajwa for his services in moving CPEC forward and playing a vital role in broadening of the CPEC scope with a transition to second phase of CPEC. His dedication and commitment was a source of great strength and support.”

The sources said that China was expected to raise the issue of reenergising the CPEC, making the CPEC Long-Term Plan 2017-30 effective and issues being faced by Chinese companies working on the CPEC projects, including a delay in clearing their power generation dues. There was no sufficient progress on CPEC projects for last three years.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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