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Business & Finance

Pakistan to counter 'malicious disinformation' campaign against CPEC: NA Speaker

  • Raja Pervaiz Ashraf stresses for large-scale effort to mitigate apprehensions of local communities susceptible to vicious propaganda
Published June 2, 2022

Speaker National Assembly (NA) Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said on Thursday that all-out efforts would be taken to counter a campaign against the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a vital cog of China’s ambitious multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In his address at the CPEC Media Forum, Ashraf said that over the years CPEC has been a victim of a “malicious disinformation campaign by the detractors of CPEC and China”.

“Exploitation of extremist and ethnic elements to sabotage the construction of CPEC cannot be overruled,” he said, adding that the media has a responsibility to report fairly and factually on the project.

The NA speaker stressed the need for a large-scale effort to mitigate apprehensions of local communities susceptible to the “vicious propaganda campaigns”.

Economic uplift linked to good ties with strategic partners: Ahsan

“Pakistan will leave no stone unturned by countering the recent misinformation and propaganda around the project,” he said, adding that a multidimensional outreach strategy comprising of all stakeholders is the need of the hour.

“We all need to come together to ensure the success of this valuable corridor," he said.

On Pakistan-China relations, Ashraf said that 71 years of bilateral friendship have withstood the test of time. “The friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy,” he said.

Ashraf said that since the launch of CPEC, the total value of the project has amplified considerably, covering dozens of high profile projects. “CPEC has become a source of shipping millions of tons of goods from China to the Middle East, Africa via Gwadar Port,” he said.

The NA speaker cited a recent study that showed the cost of sending a container from Kashgar through CPEC route- via Gwadar to the Middle East and Africa will go down by $1,000. “Travel time and distances will be reduced as well,” he added.

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Ashraf said that despite the pandemic, work on CPEC projects continued “with utmost professionalism and consistency”.

He said that a parliamentary committee of CPEC has assured vigilant oversight of the government and followed up on the progress of the project.

“I have witnessed the high-quality execution of CPEC projects in Balochistan and across the country. It is heartening that the scope of CPEC has expanded to include other priority areas including socio-economic development, poverty alleviation and industrial & agricultural cooperation through Special Economic Zones (SEZ),” said Ashraf.

He said that Pakistan's pursuit of being a geo-economic hub in the region is linked with the success of CPEC.

Earlier this week Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif stressed that Pakistan needed support from China in the form of investment, trade and transfer of knowledge rather than disbursement of loans and financial aid. In a meeting with Chinese investors, he said that Pakistan wants to learn agriculture and industrial uplift and cost cutting from China.


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