Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday termed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as reshaping geo-economic landscape and ushering in prosperity, not only for Pakistan but also for the entire region, which is based on the idea of shared development.
Condemning the hostile propaganda against the BRI by a section of the international media, she stressed the need for collaboration, coordination and cross regional media fusion among the media outlets of participating countries was utmost necessary.
Addressing an international conference titled “Cross-regional media fusion on the Belt and Road partners” Firdous Ashiq commended the Pakistani media that played a pivotal role in nullifying the anti-CEPC propaganda and also contributed to the development of the concept of national ownership. She said similar effort was required by the media in the countries participating in the BRI.
Appreciating the Centre for Global and Strategic and Studies (CGSS), for organizing the conference, she said the role and contribution of think-tanks in evaluating the regional and global issues and challenges and providing intellectual and pragmatic solutions to those challenges can hardly be over-emphasized.
She said President Xi Jinping’s vision of One Belt, One Road (OBOR) was not only bold but also innovative initiative that knitted the world in a community of shared interests.
Dr Firdous said OBOR vision was harbinger of a new era of connectivity and integration of member countries, which would bridge the gap between the North and South.
She said that sustained progress was being made in the implementation of the second phase of CPEC in Pakistan wherein the emphasis will be on industrial and agricultural cooperation, socio-economic development and technical training. With the highest level of transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness, the building blocks of CPEC were being installed, she said.
Awan said Prime Minister Imran Khan during his Gwadar visit performed ground breaking of Rs65 billion Zhob-Kuchlak section of Western route of CEPC, Rs 17 billion project of transmission line of Makran Coast, Rs 23 billion New Gwadar International Airport project, hospital as well as vocational institute.
She said that Chinese government was also investing $ 1 billion in socio-economic sector in two years. She said, China had offered 20,000 scholarships for Pakistani students besides financing to build over 1000 small schools in different parts of the country.
The scope of CPEC has been broadened to benefit the people of Pakistan, she added.
She said that recently 300 mw coal power plant had been inaugurated in Gwadar and Multan-Sukkur Motorway opened. She said that that OBOR was about shared prosperity and making peace and development the basis of interactions among the peoples, cultures and ideas.
She said that OBOR through CEPC was Pakistan’s passport to a new level of development and progress.
She said that President Xi called Pakistan an iron brother and multi-billion CPEC was manifestation of China’s special relationship with Pakistan.
She said that in spite of the achievement of BRI and its component CPEC, some regional and global powers, pursuant to their strategic global interests, were engaged in creating doubts and misgivings about this mega project supported by their media outlets.
She said that media played a vital role in building positive and constructive perception about the issues as well as erasing false perceptions contrived through negative propaganda.
She expressed the hope that through the collective wisdom of the conference, a workable strategy would be recommended for promotion of cross-regional media fusion among the BRI countries that would lead to the development of common outlook about BRI and the course to be pursued to negate anti-BRI and CPEC related propaganda.