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Press Release

Rawalpindi- July 12, 2017
 
COAS ADDRESS
CPEC LOGISTICS INTERNATIONAL FORUM
(12 JUL 2017)
 

 

Bismillah Irrakhman Nirraheem

Ambassadors, Civil and Military officers, Guests, Speakers & Participants

Assalam-o-Alaikum and Good Morning!

It is indeed a privilege this morning, to address this august gathering, on CPEC Logistics; it’s opportunities, challenges and way forward. I am extremely happy to see so many renowned professionals who have come here, to discuss this subject, which is extremely important, yet less debated.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I believe that such forums and debates, are actually the key to the successful operationalization of CPEC. In this context, I must appreciate and commend initiative of NLC for bringing Pakistani, Chinese and other stakeholders from wide spectrum, under one roof to discuss this important issue. I am confident that this effort will go a long way in devising viable, practical and futuristic strategies for successful actualization of CPEC and its dividends for all of us.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

We take immense pride in our relationship with China that has always remained on an ascending trajectory and now encompass almost every sphere of our life. The lasting imprint of this brotherly partnership is visible in state-to-state, military-to-military, business to business and people-to-people contacts
Pak-China relationship is based on the principles of peaceful co-existence, commonality of interest and shared perception on regional and global issues. We have always stood by each other through thick and thin and at every critical juncture of our history. That is why we are called as “Iron Brothers”
 
The honourable President of China, Mr Xi Jinping’s grand vision of One Belt One Road (OBOR) has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for the countries of the region and beyond. CPEC, being an important project of OBOR, holds great promise for turning around the economies of Pakistan, Western China and the region. That is why we consider it as a “Game Changer”

Ladies and Gentlemen!

CPEC is also affirmation of our efforts for a peaceful and prosperous region. Unlike some countries of South Asia, we believe in focusing our energies on peace and inclusiveness, rather than divisive competition.

CPEC is a great initiative for people of the region, particularly for the people of Pakistan. It is truly a harbinger of economic development, prosperity and peace. Chinese investment in various fields, including energy, infrastructure, Gawadar port and special economic zones could lay the foundation of a fast developing, progressive Pakistan, if the opportunity is optimally utilized.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

We as a nation can only benefit from this historic opportunity, if we prepare ourselves to embrace it. All national institutions will have to make a deliberate effort to ensure success of CPEC. To begin with, we need education, training and skill development of our youth to enable them to reap benefits from this economic initiative. We also need to improve our existing laws and regulations to provide a facilitating framework for trade and investment activities. We need infrastructure and urban planning to ensure that we are able to handle large volume of business and transport, without any hassle.

CPEC will bring increasing economic integration between the regional economies on the one hand and reduce the development gap within various regions of Pakistan on the other. This however will require transformation of the trade corridors into economic corridors with the help of industrial and urban development, under a unified development framework.
 
The bottom line is; we must ensure that the people of Pakistan benefit from CPEC to enjoy the fruits of prosperity. This will require leadership, collaborative spirit and capacity building at a much higher pace and level. While Army will provide security to the project, the other National Institutions will have to come forward and play their respective roles.

Talking about security; today, Pakistan is much safer than before. Peace has been restored in FATA and adjoining areas. Normalcy is returning to Pakistan’s economic hub of Karachi, where business community and common people have started to benefit from it. Similarly, law and order situation in Balochistan has improved significantly and there is a much bigger focus on socio-economic development in the province. With full backing of our nation, we are making steady, but sure footed progress in making Pakistan a terrorism and extremism free country.
 
Let me assure the audience that the Army and law enforcement agencies are vigilant and are determined to provide foolproof security to CPEC. No one should have any doubt about our commitment to the project. We will make CPEC a success, Insha ALLAH, come what may.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

We are fortunate to have Chinese brothers on our side to assist us in surmounting the gigantic challenges facing CPEC. Pakistan is a resilient nation of over 200 Million people, with a large ratio of vibrant, capable and enthusiastic youth. We need to capitalize on this opportunity to make Pakistan an economic power in coming years. I want our entrepreneurs to join hands with our Chinese brothers and make this dream a reality. My dream is, that by the year 2030, when we complete the current phase of economic partnership between the two countries, Pakistan should atleast be in league with middle income countries .
 
I am glad that NLC has taken the initiative to organize this Forum. If regularly held, this Forum can become a major platform for the logistics industry of both the countries, for high quality deliberations for the long term development of the sector. It will also provide a platform for integration of other regional economies.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

In the end, I would specially thank our Chinese guests who have travelled all the way to attend this Forum. I also thank our honourable guests from all walks of life for their presence in today’s discourse. I would again like to congratulate, the management of NLC for arranging such a productive Forum, to deliberate on the subject for actualization of CPEC. In fact, we must encourage an open debate on all aspects of CPEC to help formulate the best long term economic policies for Pakistan. I am sure that all stakeholders will have meaningful engagement and collaborate with each other for success of this important project and the recommendations emerging out of the Forum would be given due importance by the decision makers.

I thank you

Long live Pak – China Friendship

Pakistan – Paindabad

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