Lahore: Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform, who heads China Pakistan Economic Corridor Joint Coordination Committee from Pakistani side has strongly condemned Imran Khan baseless allegations against Chinese assistance to Pakistan under “China Pakistan Economic Corridor” and demanded an immediate apology from him.
He said, “Pakistan and China are closest friends and enjoy time tested all weather friendship. At a time when international investors were shying away from Pakistan due to security environment in the region, decision of Chinese and Pakistani leadership during PM Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Beijing in July,13 to take Pak-China relations to new heights in economic field through China Pakistan Economic Corridor Project was a milestone. The most critical energy and infrastructure sectors related projects will inject new life into Pakistan’s economy.
The commitment of Chinese government to help Pakistan overcome its energy shortages through energy projects is a proof that friend in need is friend indeed. All 10,400 mw coal, hydel, solar, and wind based energy projects As early harvest projects are in IPP mode as investment projects contrary to Mr. Khan’s assertion that these projects are being financed through borrowing. These projects are coming under energy policy which is open for all investors from any part of the world. Hence the assertion that expensive contracts have been signed with China is baseless and mala fide.”
He said, “It is not expected from a leader of the stature of Mr Khan, whose party is ruling KPK province that he would show such immaturity and irresponsibility. Mr Khan has alleged that these loans are being taken at 7% interest, which is incorrect as these projects are not loans but coming as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country.
Today there is a mad race among all countries to attract maximum FDI for higher growth rates. Energy Projects with Chinese assistance are a source of oxygen for our economy, which will not only push growth rate of economy upwards by solving energy crisis but also help create millions of new jobs. Mr Khan has alleged that government leaders are getting kickbacks and commission through these projects is shameful act on his part because he has indirectly embarrassed our closest friend by implying that it is indulging in unfair practices.
Mr Khan owes an apology to people of Pakistan and China for making such irresponsible statements and allegations. His untimely and undemocratic tactics in the capital caused postponement of Chinese President’s visit to Pakistan and now he is making China Pakistan Projects controversial. People of Pakistan want to know whose agenda is he following?”
He said, “Pakistan and China are bound in strongest bond of friendship, which is beyond political divide, and people of Pakistan are indebted to Chinese leadership for showing strong commitment to help Pakistan overcome energy crisis. The President of China, Mr. Xi Jinping, who is a great friend of Pakistan, will soon visit Pakistan.”