'CPEC to move on a fast pace under PM Shehbaz Sharif'

Islamabad, April 18 (IANS) Under the leadership of Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will make faster headways and advances with the multi-faceted development of the flagship scheme of Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), said a senior member of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
 
'CPEC to move on a fast pace under PM Shehbaz Sharif'

<br>PML-N senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that the CPEC would move forward with new vigour and vitality and in a rejuvenated manner under Shehbaz Sharif.

Talking about the future of collaboration and bilateral relations between Pakistan and China, Sayed highlighted that newly-elected PM Sharif gave pivotal importance to Islamabad's relationship with China and expressed his desire to take CPEC forward at a fast pace.

"China shares a very old and longstanding relationship with Shehbaz Sharif. When the BRI was launched with CPEC as it centre piece, it was taken forward by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and then Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif," he said.

Sayed also highlighted Pakistan's policy to keep China as a top priority in its foreign policy.

"China is number one in terms of foreign policy priority, which the Prime Minister made clear when he listed the list of countries, and his formulation has been warmly welcomed in China. So we have no doubts," he said.

"China is the only country for which there is across-the-border national consensus, and the entire leadership considers it to be Pakistan's number one friend," Sayed added.

He also expressed his confidence that CPEC projects will move forward and play a vital role in further strengthening the relations between the two countries.

"The first phase of CPEC was completed when Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister. The second phase is bigger and you will perhaps see acceleration in the field of agriculture, information technology and infrastructure, especially railways," he said.

"Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had already announced during his visit to Karachi that his government would expand CPEC, so there would be multifaceted development of the flagship project," he added.

Sayed said that CPEC has brought both countries closer through infrastructure and energy projects, resolving many problems.

"CPEC is the character of a better tomorrow for the people of Pakistan," Sayed said.

--IANS<br>hamza/arm