Islamabad, 15 June 2022 (TDI): Development of Gwadar port and the progress on various projects will bring peace, prosperity, and connectivity to the region. Although there are regional and strategic challenges, commitment from China and Pakistan is matchless. This will bring change to the people across the region. These were the remarks by the panellist speaking on the occasion of the seminar on “Gwadar Port: Latest Developments and Prospects of Shared Prosperity” organised by the Center for BRI and China Studies – Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, in collaboration with Riphah Institute of Public Policy, Riphah International University. While opening the seminar, Farhat Asif, President, IPDS, said that hosting this vital conversation raised awareness and insight about recent developments on Gwadar- a crown jewel of CPEC and BRI. She has explained the Centre for BRI and China Studies and various research activities the center organizes. In his welcome remarks, Dr. Rashid Aftab, Director of the Riphah Institute of Public Policy, said that the Institute of public policy supports the policy makers in developing informed policies. He said that he has also recently visited Gwadar and witnessed the progress.
In his keynote, Yang Nuo, Minister Counselor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, highlighted the significance of Gwadar Port and the progress made jointly by Pakistan and China on CPEC. He said that the progress on the airport, connectivity, and energy projects is ongoing. Apart from these projects, a significant impact is on the lives of the locals through the clean drinking water plants, hospital, and vocational training institute. Progress on these projects will comprehensively impact people’s lives and bring them prosperity. China and Pakistan are fully committed to building CPEC and progressing for a shared future.
Moreover, Dr. Liaquat Ali Shah, Head of Policy (CPEC) at Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning and Development, offered comprehensive information on the latest progress on Gwadar. He has mentioned the completed, under-construction, and future planned projects.
Dr. Liaquat also highlighted that Gwadar has all the potential to be the smart port city of the world, and there are proposals and action plans in the pipeline to make the vision into reality. Senator Sitara Ayaz, Secretary General, International Parliamentarians Congress, former special assistant to CM Baluchistan, highlighted her optimism toward peace and progress on Gwadar. She said that Gwadar is progressing despite the challenges from the region and those who are naysayers to the long-standing Pakistan-China friendship. Despite these challenges causing a delay in the progress, both Pakistan and China are committed to making development happen. Gwadar is the linchpin for the peace and progress in the region. She said that China and Pakistan are also effectively working to promote the climate effect of Gwadar through massive tree plantations across the region.
In addition, Dr. Inayat Kalim, Associate Professor IR Department at COMSATS University Islamabad, said that four core elements are needed for the development and progress of the country to make the projects like Gwadar a reality. These are vision, clear goals, strategy, and finally, determination. He has highlighted that Gwadar is unique from all perspectives and has all the potential to be one of the region’s most developed ports with its natural resources. All we have to do is to make our focus on achieving our goals through vision, effective strategy, and determination. Finally, a book on “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Paradigm Shift Growth Model” was published by the Riphah Institute of Public Policy. A large number of students, faculty members, and diplomats participated in the event.