Pakistan Reader# 419, 23 November 2022
On 22 November, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal directed the authorities concerned to arrange a virtual meeting with Chinese authorities on speeding up the CPEC projects. Previously, China and Pakistan held a meeting to bid on the process of phase -1 of Main Line -1, seeking the upgradation of the rail line from Karachi to Peshawar. The total cost of ML-1 had been estimated at USD 9.8 billion.
According to an official statement, Ahsan reviewed the progress of CPEC projects after the 11th Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent visit to China. He asked the Pakistan embassy to arrange an online meeting with the NDRC vice chairman to review the progress on CPEC projects. Further, he directed the ministries concerned to speed up work on Special Economic Zones for attracting share from the relocation of Chinese industry to Pakistan with low-cost production. Ahsan also asked the officials to coordinate with Chinese authorities for the early completion of the International Gwadar Airport stating that “the Gwadar International Airport should be functional before June 2023.” (Mehtab Haider, “Ahsan directs expediting CPEC projects,” The News International, 23 November 2022)