It is heartening to note that Pakistan and China have agreed to expedite the second phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while deciding to establish a working group on five new economic corridors, including ‘Corridor of Job Creation, Corridor of Innovation, Corridor of Green Energy, and Inclusive Regional Development’.

The CPEC, which is no less than a national cause for every Pakistani, so to speak, cannot be allowed to suffer from any delay whatsoever. That the country’s economic development is strongly linked to this mega infrastructural project is a fact that cannot be over-emphasized.

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif, who had deservedly earned the epithet of “Shehbaz Speed” due to his energetic approach and prolific output as chief minister of Punjab, the country’s most important province in terms of the national economy in particular, needs to pull his socks up with a view to injecting the required speed into the CPEC for the greater good of the country.

It is quite unfortunate that his approach to the CPEC during his last tenure as chief minister of Punjab was not impressive, to say the least. Be that as it may, the slowdown this project suffered in the past owing to whatever reasons must not characterize the execution of this project anymore.

The planning minister, Ahsan Iqbal, too, needs to work harder in order to ensure the timely execution of this project. The coalition government led by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) needs to walk the talk. Let me state through these newspaper columns that insofar as the country’s economic development is concerned, CPEC is our first option; it’s our last option as well.

Mehdi Hasan (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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