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Sixth JCC on CPEC

The 6th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) concluded in Beijing with the satisfactory note emphasising to speed up projects initiated under CPEC.Reportedly, with consensus from both sides, it was also agreed that the next meeting of JCC will be held in Islamabad next year. The two sides reviewed the progress achieved after the 5th JCC meeting and discussed various issues concerned different projects under CPEC.During the JCC, Pakistan and China discussed inter-alia; progress on a long-term plan for CPEC, energy cooperation, transport infrastructure, Gwadar and Industrial cooperation.The two sides expressed satisfaction over the progress achieved on projects relating to the energy cooperation and transport infrastructure while emphasising on the need to speed up the work on projects concerning Gwadar and Industrial Cooperation.They also discussed the way forward for the effective and timely implantation of various projects under CPEC.Following the conclusion of the JCC, the two sides signed minutes of the meetings of JCC and various working groups including Agreements and MoUs relating to transport infrastructure, Gwadar and transmission line.Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will not be limited to development projects, but will also help to boost people-to-people contacts between the two countries. He said that the meeting expressed satisfaction that by the cooperation of the leadership of both the countries CPEC was moving ahead successfully. The meeting expressed satisfaction over the ongoing work on the 8000MW power projects under the CPEC. The minister said that a working group was constituted to continue the work on Bhasha Dam to be built on Indus River.He said that under the transport infrastructure, rail based mass transit projects were approved for all provincial capitals and included in the CPEC framework.It is for the first time that all participants from Pakistan representing all provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan have returned home satisfied, as all projects proposed by them have been included in the CPEC framework. These include Sindh’s projects of Keti Bandar, Karachi Circular Railway and a Special Economic Zone in Dhabeji and twelve projects of far-reaching significance to Balochistan. Inclusion of 12 projects of Balochistan especially those aimed at all round development of Gwadar Port have dispelled the wrong impression being created by some vested interests that smaller provinces were being left out. The agreement to include rail-based mass transit projects for all four provincial headquarters is yet another testimony of sharing of CPEC benefits equally by people living in different provinces and regions. Again Pakistan was facing major bottlenecks in initiation of work on water reservoirs and in this case Chinese willingness to include Diamer-Bhasha dam and other projects on Indus River in CPEC framework augurs well for water security, development of irrigation and increased share of cheaper hydel power in the national energy mix. The establishment of industrial zones in the four provinces, FATA, AJK, GB and the Federal Capital would herald a new era of socio-economic development. The government should ensure the transparency and should take steps for the smooth implementation of these projects.

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