Pakistan hits back at US for criticising CPEC, says ‘it won’t be burden’
Islamabad (Pakistan) | Jagran News Desk: Days after the US expressed its concern over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that it would only profit China adding that the US had offered a better model, Pakistan on Saturday rejected US’ notion and said that its relations with China within the purview of the project will never fray.
Pakistan's newly appointed Minister for Planning Asad Umar said that CPEC would not prove to be a burden for the country but help in providing a strong basis for industrial growth for the coming years.
“Pakistan has always recognised that CPEC is not an aid and this government has always maintained that it wishes to move past the initial scope of the arrangement,” Malik was quoted by Dawn as saying.
“The aid that Pakistan received in the past did not really contribute in real terms towards the country's progress and she was right to point out that we must stand on our own two feet,” he further said.
“We have said this on many occasions in the past [...] that both countries have benefitted from CPEC. Chinese firms got business as their machinery was exported and came to Pakistan. The lack of infrastructure in Pakistan, especially in the power sector, was where a lot of the country's needs were met,” he added.
This comes two days after US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells criticised the CPEC saying that Pakistan faced long-term economic damage with little return if China keeps pursuing its giant infrastructure push.
Wells also said that lack of transparency in the project could foster corruption and increase the project cost, thereby resulting in an even heavier debt burden for Pakistan.
“There is a different model. Worldwide we see that US companies bring more than just capital; they bring values, processes and expertise that build the capacities of local economies,” she had said.
The CPEC project, which was launched in 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan, is a multi-dollar project, with a planned networks of roads and railways and energy projects linking China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian sea.
(With ANI inputs)
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma