ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal here on Tuesday dispelled rumors regarding any change of Pak-China Economic Corridor and termed it a conspiracy against the mega development project.
Addressing a joint press conference alongwith Ameer of Jamiat Ulema Islam (F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the minister said that there was no route change in the corridor adding it was baseless propaganda to create controversy.
He said that Pak-China Economic Corridor Project was a mega project which would change the fate of country as well as of the region and connect the two friendly countries.
He informed that all provinces including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan would benefit from infrastructure of the project as Gwadar port would emerge as ‘smart port’of the country and bring tremendous opportunities to bring the under developed areas of Balochistan at par with developed areas of the country.
The project, he said would also create employment opportunities for thousands besides helping in reducing poverty in the country as its new alignment would pass through all under developed areas.
Ahsan Iqbal said that in first phase of N-85 and M-8 project would be completed on priority within two years to connect Gwadar Port with up country.
He said that N-85 would help connect Gwadar with Quetta-Killa Saifullah to Zhob with DI Khan to Peshawar for transportation of goods from Gwadar to Kashgar.
Then the government, he said would construct M-8 project which would help to link Gwadar with Awaran and Rato Daro, in the 3rd phase the port would be linked with Sukkur-Lahore and Karachi within the next two years, he remarked.
The minister said the government was determined to trickle down the benefits of all development projects in all provinces on equitable basis adding that Prime Minister has issued directives for completion of Lowari Tunnel in Chitral to facilitate the people of the far flung area.
Speaking on the occasion, Maulana Fazl ur Rehman said that the project was a mega project which would connect the two countries and help in development of all provinces.
He said the project would provide six gateways for China to connect it with Central Asian States besides helping explore mineral reserves in collaboration with China for reduction of poverty, peace and prosperity of the region.
He urged for completing the feasibility report and bringing it to the masses for addressing their concerns and removing rumors being spread against the project.