Ahsan:(Pak, CARs to benefit from infrastructure being constructed: Ahsan)

Islamabad: Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal says Pakistan and Central Asian Republics (CARs) would benefit from the platform and infrastructure being constructed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He was addressing a seminar titled “Pakistan – A Land of Opportunities for Central Asian Republics” in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The Minister said two more corridors would also be completed during the next few years based on CPEC connecting Pakistan, China and Central Asia. One corridor would link Peshawar with Kabul and Tajikistan and the other will connect Quetta with Herat and Turkmenistan.

He said these corridors would not only provide connectivity to Central Asia but also extend it upto Russian Federation.

Ahsan Iqbal said the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation programme would also be a game changer as it would create connectivity of the region with Asia, Europe and Africa.

He pointed out that CASA-1000 will create a platform for electricity transmission within the region from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

He said TAPI would also be completed soon.

The Minister announced establishment of a Central Asian University in Pakistan to promote regional cooperation, understanding and security.

Meanwhile, addressing the seminar Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua pointed out that Pakistan shares strong connections with the Central Asian Republics.

She said Pakistan was amongst the first countries which recognized the Central Asian Republics.

Highlighting the challenges faced by the region, the foreign secretary said the Chinese initiative of One Belt One Road is a ray of hope to the regional countries to work together and set aside their differences for a prosperous and peaceful future.

She said stability in Afghanistan is of much importance for connectivity in the region. She said Pakistan supports the reconciliation process in Afghanistan as there is no military solution to the conflict.

Referring to the Kashmir dispute, she said resolution of this longstanding dispute is imperative for regional peace and stability.