Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa today defended controversial multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying it is a harbinger of economic development, peace and prosperity in the region. Addressing a seminar on CPEC Logistics in Rawalpindi, he said the CPEC is also affirmation of Pakistan's efforts for a peaceful and prosperous region, according to Radio Pakistan. "Unlike some other countries of South Asia, we believe in focusing our energies on peace and inclusiveness, rather than divisive competition," he said, without naming any country. The army chief said that CPEC will bring increasing economic integration among regional economies and reduce the development gap within various regions of Pakistan. He said the Chinese investment in various fields, including energy, infrastructure, Gwadar Port, and special economic zones can lay the foundation of a fast development Pakistan, if the opportunity is optimally utilised. The CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking southern Pakistan, and the Gwadar Port, to China's restive Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region.
As it passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), India has raised objection to the project. Commenting on prevailing security situation in Pakistan, Bajwa said the country is much safer today than before as peace has been restored in tribal region and the adjoining areas. He said normalcy is returning to Pakistan's economic hub of Karachi. Similarly, the law and order situation has improved significantly in Balochistan and there is great focus on socio-economic development in the province. Gen Bajwa said Pakistan is making steady, but sure-footed progress to get rid of the menace of terrorism and extremism.
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