* Western part of corridor will be built first, starting from Hasan Abdal to Gwadar while passing through Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan and Zhob * PM says parliamentary committee, working group will be set up for oversight of projects

ISLAMABAD: A specially convened all-parties conference (APC) Thursday gave go-ahead to the government on the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
The conference, chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House, agreed on priority development of the Western part of the corridor, which would be built from Hasan Abdal to Gwadar, passing through Mianwali, Dera Ismail Khan and Zhob.
It was the second meeting convened to discuss the project, its route and related projects as well as to seek suggestions from political parties to ensure that all provinces get equal benefit from it. The earlier APC on the CPEC was held on May 13, however it remained inconclusive.
The prime minister thanked the national political leadership for their support and said a parliamentary committee would also be set up for oversight of the projects under the CPEC and to ensure that reservations, if any, are addressed. He said a working group would also be set up to address the reservations of the provinces.
He said the CPEC would help Pakistan achieve its cherished dream of becoming a developed country and said the project would not only help economic growth of Pakistan, but would also benefit the regional countries.
He was appreciative of the political leadership of the country for standing united on the important national issue and for a consensus decision.
He said the CPEC would help equitable development across the country and noted with appreciation the role of China in this regard.
The prime minister thanked the political leaders for joining him on an issue of national importance and said gone were the days when political leaders of rival parties were involved in bickering and agitational politics.
On the contrary, he said the current era was totally different, as all political forces now stood together to work for development and progress of the country and to further strengthen democracy.
He termed it a healthy tradition and hoped and prayed that the good convention of collective decision making on vital national issues, continues.
He said the last meeting remained inconclusive and added no consensus could be achieved owing to the tragic Safora incident in Karachi in which around 45 innocent lives were lost at the hands of terrorists.
The prime minister appreciated the fact that the terrorists involved in the killing of members of Ismaili community were nabbed and vowed that those responsible would get an exemplary punishment.
Nawaz said the political parties gave high priority to the interests of Pakistan and said unprecedented investment from China was pouring in the country as numerous projects were in the pipeline. He particularly lauded the all out support of China to Pakistan on the mega project, which he said, would serve to be a landmark achievement.
Stressing the need of evolving consensus on the issue, the prime minister said having difference of opinion was a healthy tradition and helps in bringing about improvements.
The meeting was attended by representatives and heads of political parties. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) delegation was headed by Syed Khurshid Shah, PTI delegation by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, ANP by Asfandyar Wali, MQM by Farooq Sattar, JUI(F) by Maulana Fazalur Rehman, JI by Siraj ul Haq, BNP by Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, and PML-Q by Mushahid Hussain Syed.
Mehmood Khan Achakzai of PKMAP, Hasil Khan Bizanjo of NP, Ijaz-ul-Haq of PML-Z, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao of QWP, Senator Prof Sajid Mir, Syed Ghazi Jamal and Alhaj Shah Jee Gul from FATA and Peer Ejaz Hashmi & Shah Owais Noorani of JUP represented their respective political parties.
Also in attendance were Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, KP CM Pervaiz Khattak, Balochistan CM Abdul Malik Baloch, Leader of House in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, Minister for Defence Kh Asif, Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Railways Kh Saad Rafiq, Lt Gen Abdul Qadir Baloch, Minister for Safron, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan Siddiqui, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistants Barrister Zafarullah Khan and Khawaja Zaheed Ahmed.

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