Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Kashmir, has said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative and will play a transformative role for Pakistan and AJK, helping change the destiny of the region. CPEC will bring to AJK four mega projects including two hydropower projects, the Mansehra-Muzaffarabad-Mirpur Expressway joining all of AJK to the western CPEC route and a modern Special Economic Zone in Mirpur.
The President made these remarks while addressing the book-launching ceremony of “The Road to Leadership” authored by the eminent TV presenter and journalist Group Captain (R) S.M. Hali here at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services.
The event was attended and addressed by H.E. Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayyed, Chairman Senate Foreign Committee, Tariq Fatemi, former Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister, Group Caption SM Hali, Lt General (R) Asif Yasin Malik and Professor Li Xiguang, Professor at Tsinghua University.
The President expressed his appreciation at Group Captain S.M. Hali’s effort for writing this seminal book on the great Chinese leader, President Xi Jinping. The book brings to light the fascinating aspects of President Xi Jinping life and how he had over the years groomed himself to rise above challenges and adversities to reach the high office of President. President AJK said that President Xi Jinping has been called the most influential by world leaders due to his position and influence, being the leader of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and Secretary General of – the most well organised political party in the world –the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Recalling his interaction with President Xi Jinping, President AJK said that he found him as a well-balanced personality, a patient listener, a polite and attentive conservationist with an enigmatic smile; beneath all of which lay his steely resolve towards committed and sustainable development and peace in the region. He added that Xi Jinping has transformed China and he has set his eyes on good governance, rooting out corruption and rebalanced, sustainable and stable growth for his country.
President Masood Khan while speaking to his audience said that China and Pakistan’s friendship is based on equality and there is no doubt that our relationship is of “Iron Brothers”. He said that our friendship spans decades and has stood the test of time. He said that the CPEC project formulated by the Chinese Government as a part of the BRI will further bring the countries closer and will prove to be a game-changer for the region. The CPEC, he said, is an example of the strong relationship enjoyed by Pakistan and China and the shared ideology for peaceful connectivity and development.
The President said that BRI will connect over 70 countries and is not localized rather is a transcontinental project promoting peace, connectivity, development and economic growth. This is a new paradigm of transcontinental connectivity and cooperation and Pakistan is lucky to be a part of this project.
He added that we must not be detracted by the so called “debt trap” conspiracy hatched against CPEC and certain countries calling the BRI as ‘disruptive communication’. This, he said Chinese ideology censures colonialist trends and dominance, instead China continues to help developing countries to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and has written off loans of many smaller countries to help them develop economically.
The President urged more scholarly literature on Pakistan-China relationship, not only on the CPEC/BRI but also on the culture and political aspects of China to help develop a better understanding of the affiliation between these two brotherly nations.
Ambassador Yao Jing said that despite our global challenges we have friends like Pakistan who share our concept of development and CPEC is an example of a shared ideology. He said that China is rapidly developing and we believe in sharing this development and achieving our goals in a peaceful, constructive and inclusive manner.
The event was also attended by numerous parliamentarians, diplomats, researchers, academicians, representatives of the print and electronic media.