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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

China is Pakistan’s all-weather friend: Shehbaz snubbed Alice Wells’ criticism on CPEC

Shehbaz Sharif vehemently defended the CPEC project commenced during their government. Shehbaz, while claiming to a core member of the committee that discussed CPEC with China, defended the project against any slander.

Alice Wells, US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia’s recent whirlwind of criticism on CPEC has spurred reactions from the Pakistan government and former ruling party, PML-N.

Since CPEC had been practically launched during the previous government of PML-N, the opposition leader and party’s senior representative Shehbaz Sharif outright denounced the shades thrown at CPEC by Alice Wells and vehemently defended the project in a threat of tweets posted on Twitter.

Shehbaz Sharif, declaring himself a close associate of the negotiation process describes the CPEC as a project that ‘envisions a community of shared interests’.

He explained the mechanism of CPEC, called it a multidimensional project that tends to facilitate Pakistan in the ‘development of the energy sector, development, industrial zones and functioning of Gwadar port.’

Read more: CPEC to improve Pakistan’s Welfare: Asad Umer

Shehbaz Sharif asserted that CPEC is the guarantor of exponential economic and social progress of Pakistan hailing it as the ‘generous’ and timely assistance program- ‘the largest in the history Pakistan’ for the elimination of energy crisis. He professed China’s tremendous help for Pakistan in the shape of CPEC.

He appreciated President Xi’s initiative of the Belt and Road project, called CPEC a ‘win-win partnership’. ‘Pakistan will remain grateful to their Iron brother for not only CPEC but also being an ally and an all-weather friend’ concluded Shehbaz Sharif.

US’s Criticism on CPEC

Alice Well’s crisp remarks against CPEC came during her speech at the Wilson Center on the impacts of the Chinese Communist Party’s OBOR in Pakistan. During her speech, she pointed out serious flaws in the OBOR project CPEC initiated by China in Pakistan.

She warned that it is not a win-win situation for Pakistan, it is the Chinese government that will acquire profits on the loans given to Pakistan for the project. The project harms the principle of sustainable development in Pakistan. She believes that Pakistan has been saddled with cumbersome loans under CPEC and failure to repay the loans might force Pakistan to compromise its sovereignty or the surrendering of its assets.

She added that as opposed to bolstering sustainable development in Pakistan, people in the country are bearing the brunt of inflated energy prices.

Read more: Gen (ret) Asim Saleem Bajwa to head CPEC amid controversy and western propaganda

Alice Wells also claimed that Chinese workers and materials have superseded the Pakistani youth in the project, who are willing to take up the opportunity to work on the projects benefiting the country.

She drew a comparison between US-Pakistan and Pak-China trade partnerships. Adding that “The US-#Pakistan business partnership stands in contrast to the CPEC model, one that contributes to sustainable growth and expertise that builds capacity for local communities. By bringing superior quality & technology, US companies are driving productivity gains in Pakistan.”

She informed that the US government has increased its activity with 15 Pakistani trade delegations planned next year. She added that there exist numerous business communications with Pakistan which is generating thousands of jobs for Pakistanis.