Imran Khan says CPEC Pakistan’s top priority

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday underscored that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project was Pakistan’s top priority as it was pivotal for its economic transformation as well as for further fortifying the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two countries.

The prime minister was talking to National Development and Reform Commission (NDRD) Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe, who called on him here at the PM Office.

He noted that the NDRD vice chairman’s visit was of great significance as it would help consolidate the gains made during the first phase of CPEC and accelerate the implementation of the second phase.

Recalling his recent visit to China, the prime minister deeply appreciated the support extended by the Chinese leadership to Pakistan on all issues. Among other things, he emphasized the importance of ML-1 for modernizing Pakistan’s railway system and also invited the NDRC vice chairman to explore opportunities in steel industry, copper and gold mining, and increased agricultural productivity.

The new projects would impart a strong impetus to the second phase of CPEC and usher in a new era of cooperation between the two countries for the benefit of the people of Pakistan, he added. The NDRC vice chairman expressed gratitude for the warm welcome accorded to him and conveyed cordial greetings of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang for Prime Minister Imran Khan. He reiterated China’s commitment to further deepening the Pakistan-China partnership in all fields. Lauding the steps taken by Pakistan to enhance coordination and accelerate completion of CPEC projects, he expressed the hope that CPEC through early harvest projects would provide practical benefits to the people of Pakistan. NDRC Vice Chairman Ning Jizhe is visiting Pakistan along with his delegation to co-chair the 9th Meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan said creating job opportunities for youth and eradication of poverty is his mission. He was speaking at a meeting with federal secretaries and provincial chief secretaries in Islamabad on Tuesday.

The prime minister said changing status quo is the biggest challenge of the PTI Government as Naya Pakistan cannot be run through old and traditional manners. He said public welfare should be kept supreme by saying goodbye to traditional methods to materialize the dream of change. Imran Khan said Pakistan has great potential for tourism, which can play a vital role for country’s economic and social development and there is a need to fully exploit this potential.

He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will prove as game changer for Pakistan and projects under its umbrella will open up new chapters of development in the country.

The prime minister said that the country’s economy is improving and investors are showing interest in various sectors. Pakistani rupee is getting stronger and exports are on the rise.

Imran Khan said investors’ confidence on government’s policies and steps taken so far are encouraging. International institutions have also noted this change and there is a need to further improve this atmosphere. Imran Khan said government fully realizes the problems and difficulties of the civil servants and all possible steps are being taken to redress them and make the civil service effective as it was in the past.

He said a tenure policy for secretaries’ appointment has been evolved so that they can perform their duties with dedication. He said able, determined, and hardworking civil service plays a pivotal role in implementing government’s vision.

He urged the civil servants to work hard for people’s welfare and development and find solution to their problems. He said progress can only be ensured by taking correct and timely decisions.

He emphasized on utilizing technology for transparency and innovation in the governance.

Prime Minister’s Advisor on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain informed the meeting about reforms regarding civil service.

The Prime Minister directed to finalize the process of recommendations at the earliest to improve performance of the civil service.

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