BRI effective instrument of cooperation: FM Qureshi

Foreign Minister says Pakistan committed to implementation of CPEC

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ISLAMABAD

Underlining the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative of China, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said the BRI has emerged as the single most effective instrument of globalization and international development cooperation. He was addressing International Conference titled Belt and Road Initiative in the Changing Regional Dynamics here on Wednesday. Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan-China friendship is an example for the world and both the countries are promoting mutual partnership.

The foreign minister said realignments are taking place in the region and we seek inputs from academia and the private sector to prepare our policies that suits the interests of the country. He said Pakistan is committed to the implementation of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project. Qureshi said Hindutva approach is permeating in India. He said Pakistan’s gesture of opening the Kartarpur Corridor was responded by India with the judgment on Babri Mosque.

He, however, said Pakistan will fully facilitate the Sikh Yatrees to visit their sacred places. Chinese President Xi launched the Belt and Road initiative in 2013, and according to data from Refinitiv, the total value of projects in the scheme stands at $3.67 trillion, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.

Things are changing in the region and we are recognizant of alignments. Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is a transformational venture and can bring peace and development in the region. Considering BRI and CPEC a zero-sum game, we believe, is unwise.

Earlier, in his welcome remarks, DG ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry aptly sketched the changing dynamics of the region and said the new great power tussle, initiated mainly by the US, can either yield new globalism or bring the old globalism to halt altogether. He said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can help us navigate the challenges of contemporary times.

In his introductory remarks, Director CPSC, Dr. Talat Shabir emphasized that there is a need to hold debates and generate constructive ideas through research and collaboration.  President PowerChina, Mr. Du Chunguo elaborated that his company has completed 40 power projects  in Pakistan focusing on socio-economic development of the people.

Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing commended the efforts by the government of Pakistan in implementing CPEC. Pakistani government, the Ambassador said, has adopted economy-oriented foreign policy which, he remarked, was the right policy.  During the two sessions, the Chinese scholars predicted that CPEC would be a role model for other corridors of BRI.

While emphasizing the importance of regional economic integration through BRI and CPEC, both Chinese and Pakistani intellectuals were sceptical of India’s peaceful rise and the Indo-Pacific strategy. Human resource development for launching SEZs projects; resolving bigger economic challenges like Pakistan’s fiscal debt and balance of payment, as well as following China’s poverty alleviation practices for socio-economic development in Pakistan were suggested as future imperatives.  The conference was an august gathering comprising academia, think-tank community, media personnel from Pakistan and China.

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