BEIJING: Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moin-ul-Haque has said that Pakistan and China are discussing and working on many other transportation projects under the framework of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in major cities.
In an interview with China’s Global Times on Sunday, Haque said that the CPEC, in its first phase, focuses on infrastructure and energy development, referencing Gwadar Port projects in Southwestern Pakistan under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
“The port will enhance connectivity between the two countries and the rest of the world,” he added.
He said the metro line is an extremely important project under the CPEC that will provide a modern, efficient, and affordable transport service to the people of Lahore, a metropolis of 12 million people with serious traffic congestion.
“The line will also help reduce carbon emissions and air pollution in the city as more people use it to commute,” he added.
Pakistan’s first metro line, built by Guangzhou Metro Company, opened on October 25 in Lahore. It will be jointly operated by Chinese and Pakistani companies. In the second phase, he said, the CPEC will mainly concentrate on the areas of agriculture, science and technology, and vocational training, which are very important for Pakistan’s poverty alleviation, and economic and social development.
“By learning China’s experience, we are building a number of special economic zones across the country, which will provide opportunities for investors from China and other countries,” he said.
Haque noted that Pakistan and China have a long history of interaction and people-to-people exchanges, helping foster their relationship and mutual understanding in a variety of cultural sectors. “The two neighbours are getting closer than ever, from arts and culture, infrastructure and poverty alleviation to cooperation in regional security.”
While commenting on the release of Parwaaz Hai Junoon, the first Pakistani film which hit Chinese mainland theatres in decades, he said that he expects the movie to be warmly welcomed by Chinese audiences.
“It is one of the most popular and highest-grossing movies to be made in Pakistan, which had done very well in the box office in Pakistan and across the world,” he said.