Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Pakistan - PPP senator presses govt to build consensus on CPEC

PPP Vice President, Sherry Rehman on Monday said Pakistan's people and government are pivotal to the success of CPEC.
Addressing the Express Group's event, 'CPEC: Priorities and Challenges', she said, "We should keep our differences aside when we talk about the national interest, but it's time the government put its listening gear on."
"CPEC is an opportunity which should be operationalised together and the government should spend more time and effort on building a consensus and investing in transparency. There is no need to squander this big opportunity, and all provinces must feel that they are part of this big development story," the senator continued. "CPEC should be seen as a huge opportunity for us. We want this to be an investment opportunity," stated the PPP VP.
In her speech, she observed, "Keeping in mind the way the world is evolving, we are now living in an era known as 'The Asian Century'. The global order is changing and I believe that this is a new phase for our region and the world. China has a huge role to play in this." "China is exporting its global surplus wisely and projecting soft power through OBOR in ways it has never done before. China is continuing its ambition of Eurasian connectivity and is all set to become a two-ocean power. You cannot roll back interdependence and connectivity, you cannot roll back human society so we are both on the right side of history," she reiterated.
Speaking on the opportunity that CPEC poses for the youth, she said, "Pakistan is in dire need of employment opportunities. Our new generation is seeking new jobs and opportunities. Every year four million enter the labour force. With two out of every three Pakistani under the age of 30, we have a significant youth bulge and we need to provide the youth with real employment opportunities, and China can play a key role in creating the conditions that spur economic growth." Highlighting the vital role the PPP government played in the initial stages of CPEC, the PPP vice president said, "PPP has had its relationship with China even before others. During Zardari's regime, he visited China nine times and laid the foundation of China's investment in Gwadar."
"Connecting the roads and seaports via old and new routes was a PPP vision that benefited both countries. It is a vision rooted in interdependence and future world realities but also our history of enduring relations," she concluded.

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