Army aware of hostility against CPEC, will protect it at any cost: Gen Raheel


RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Thursday stated the Pakistan Army is aware of all hostility being perpetrated against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He added the CPEC project will transform the lives of people of Pakistan.

“We are ready to pay any price to turn this long cherished dream into reality,” said the COAS, speaking at a conference held at the General Headquarters (GHQ).

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) added the participants were given a comprehensive briefing on the prevailing internal and external security situation of the country. Participants also held exhaustive discussion on professional matters.

“The Pakistani nation has been a victim of terrorism for over a decade and has sacrificed a lot, but we have turned the tide primarily due to the resilience displayed by the whole nation and professionalism of our armed forces.”

The country’s top general added the Pakistan Army will always fulfill the expectations of the Pakistani nation.

The COAS also emphasised on the quality and speed of rehabilitation and resettlement work in FATA for the TDPs timely return.

The latest statement by the country’s top general comes at a time when the government has aired confessions of captured Indian and Afghan spies.

CPEC: Background

The CPEC is a 3,000-kilometer network of roads, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas from Gwadar Port to Kashgar city, northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Proposed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Pakistan in May 2013, the CPEC will act as a bridge for the new Maritime Silk Route that envisages linking three billion people in Asia, Africa and Europe.

An official agreement on the corridor was signed between the two countries in May last year during President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to Pakistan.

A flagship project of the Belt and Road initiative as well, the CPEC intends to revive the ancient Silk Road with a focus on infrastructure, and constitutes the strategic framework of bilateral cooperation.

The project links China’s strategy to develop its western region with Pakistan’s focus on boosting its economy, including the infrastructure construction of Gwadar Port, together with some energy cooperation and investment programs.

It also involves road and railway construction including an upgrade of the 1,300-km Karakoram Highway, the highest paved international road in the world which connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountains.

The CPEC will reduce China’s routes of oil and gas imports from Africa and the Middle East by thousands of kilometers, making Gwadar a potentially vital link in China’s supply chain.

General Raheel during the conference expressed satisfaction on the pace of TDP return. He also paid tribute to the unwavering support shown by the tribes in the tribal areas.

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