Trade: (Enhanced facilities, security demanded for Pak-Afghan trade corridor)

ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Thursday said that developmental work should be expedited on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) so that the project could be completed during the tenure of COAS General Raheel Sharif that is in greater national interest.

He said situation is improving in Waziristan agencies which has increased traffic on Pak-Afghan trade corridor linking Indus Highway and the troubled tribal region with Afghanistan’s Ring Road.

He said security should be enhanced along the trade corridor which was constructed by Army engineers in record time while facilities should be improved to boost trade.

He said peace in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA is linked to economic development therefore government can consider provision of interest-free loans and free of cost advisory services to the business community.

He lauded Army for initiating project to spend Rs one billion for renovation of mosques in Waziristan. He also supported decision to annually recruit 1000 youth from tribal belt in Army. However, he said that enrolling 5000 young from FATA in Army would be good due to shabby employment and serious border situation.

Long and unmanageable borders and increasing belligerence of enemies’ warrants enhancing Army by one hundred thousand minimum and equipping it with better hardware, he demanded.

He also lauded decision to provide free education to FATA students in major cities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab and demanded similar programmes for other provinces as education is the cheapest and best way to bring people out of poverty.

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