Committee: (Committee on CPEC meets)

ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) headed by its Chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed met here on Thursday.

The Committee had in-depth briefing from the Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal and Minister for Railways, Kh. Saad Rafiq. They also addressed all questions and provided their clarifications on the reservations addressed by some members.

Ahsan Iqbal provided a comprehensive and detailed briefing on various dimensions of CPEC, the various projects under the CPEC as well as financial costs and timeline of their completion.

Kh. Saad Rafiq provided a perspective on the role of railways in the context of CPEC and the plans of the railways for the future up-gradation and expansion. The Secretary, Ministry of Water & Power provided written answer to the questions that were also asked by Mr. Asad Umar, MNA/member of the Committee.

During his remarks, Senator Mushahid Hussain said that CPEC is a strategic national project above any person, party or province and on this national project, there should be no controversy because it is the project that will benefit all parts and provinces of Pakistan particularly the less-developed regions of the smaller provinces.

He said the Parliamentary Committee will ensure that CPEC projects remain equitable and inclusive development and participation of all provinces and regions of Pakistan.

The members of the Parliamentary Committee representing their respective political parties, reaffirmed their full support to CPEC and said that they consider it a game changer for the country as well as the pillar of Pakistan-China relations for the 21st century, which will take the Pakistan-China strategic relationship to a new, higher level of friendship, support and solidarity.

They also made it clear that no political party would allow such an important national project to become controversial under any circumstances, since this is a project that will strengthen the federation through socio-economic development as well as promote Pakistan’s pivotal role in regional cooperation with China, Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries.

The members who attended the meeting include Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Prof Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Pakistan Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Housing and Works Minister Akram Khan Durrani, , Talha Mehmood, Gen. (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Fateh Mohammad Hasni, Shibli Faraz, Asad Umar, Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Baz Mohammad Khan, Rana Afzal, Dr. Ibadullah, Alhaj Shahji Gul Afridi, Minister for Finance and Power, Gilgit Baltistan, Haji Akbar Taban, Secretary Ministry of Planning and Development, Secretary Ministry of Railways and Senior officers of Ministry of Railways.