Pakistan to revive original momentum of CPEC project: Ahsan Iqbal

Islamabad: Pakistani Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal held a meeting with Zhang Jianghua, Chairman National Energy Administration of China at the Diaoyutai Guest House in Beijing.

He was accompanied by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Syed Tariq Fatemi, Ambassador Khalil Hashmi and other government officials.

According to an official statement issue here, Ahsan Iqbal said: “Green Corridor, announced by Vice Premier He Lifeng during his visit to Pakistan is an important pillar of second phase of CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). The vision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s government is to revive the original momentum of CPEC project and has deep commitment to the high-quality development of CPEC”.

Iqbal maintained that the “energy projects, under CPEC phase-I, contributed to overcoming power outages in Pakistan. The government intends to diversify energy mix during the next phase of CPEC towards clean and renewable energy. Government intends to reform energy sector to be efficient and affordable in order to provide electricity to consumers and businesses at cheaper rates by cutting line losses and power theft.”

Both sides discussed new initiatives to improve energy management system, aimed at reducing theft and line losses. The Minister also briefed the Chinese side on the steps taken by the government of Pakistan to enhance safety and security of the Chinese nationals on several projects in Pakistan.

Both sides also exchanged views to diversify energy mix for the production of electricity in the country.

In that context, Minister for Planning sought Chinese continued cooperation for the early implementation of the Azad Pattan and Kohala Hydro Power Projects.

Emphasizing the importance of the work of CPEC’s Joint Coordination Committee (JCC), which is the highest-level decision-making body, both sides agreed to hold the next round of the Joint Working Group meeting on Energy (JEWG) at an early date.

The meeting was part of a series of engagements of Professor Ahsan Iqbal in Beijing to prepare for the next round of Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting as well as for the preparation of the proposed visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China.