ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday it was his government’s top priority to provide jobs to the locals through promotion of industrialization under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He was addressing an ‘agreement signing ceremony’ for the development of Rashakai Special Economic Zone.
The prime minister on the occasion congratulated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on the agreement, which he said would prove to be a great milestone not only for the province but also for the entire country.
He said out of four industrial zones to be set up under CPEC, Rashakai was prioritized to encourage the growth of industries and spur local jobs for the people at their doorsteps.
“People usually go out of the country or other parts of the country to get jobs, and it is a difficult to leave behind a family. My government’s priority is to provide job opportunities to the locals at their doorsteps,” he added.
The prime minister mentioned that a United Nations survey had indicated that the KP province was leading the efforts towards reduction in poverty.
The KP chief minister, members of the National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC)-China, CPEC Authority and other relevant high officials were also present during the ceremony.
Referring to the strategic position of Pakistan in the wider regional connectivity with the Central Asian countries, the PM welcomed the commencement of intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha and said Pakistan had played a vital role in the Afghan peace talks.
If there were peace, it would lead towards achievement of wider regional connectivity up to Central Asia, PM Imran said, adding that the deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan during his recent visit to Pakistan, was keen to establish a railway line from Mazar Sharif to Peshawar in order to facilitate trade and commerce.
“The ML-1, Karachi-Peshawar railway line, will also prove vital in the regional connectivity, reducing travelling distance between different cities of the country manifold,” he said. “It will also enhance cargo activities and ensure ease of doing business.”
About CPEC, the prime minister said they were moving forward from communication linkage to industrialization growth through agreements.
“Our next phase is industrialization. During the 60s, the nationalization drive had affected the country‘s economy and exports. Our next way leads to industrialization. The Chinese industry wanted to relocate and Pakistan offers very attractive environment with complete incentivization,” he added.