China invested in Pakistan in difficult times: Ahsan

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China considers Pakistan as a strategic friend and has confidence in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD
Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives Professor Ahsan Iqbal has said that China invested in Pakistan under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project when the country was passing through difficult times, which helped to turnaround the local economy and put it on the sustainable growth and development trajectory.
“When China decided to invest $25 billion in Pakistan, this is [in] 2013, when we had 18 hours of power shortages and frequent suicide bombings at that time they decided to come to Pakistan and support Pakistan,” he stated in an interview with VOA.
This shows they have trust and confidence in Pakistan, he said adding that recent bullish performance of the country’s stock exchange showed that the local investors had full confidence in the direction the government was following.
“I think it is the same sense of confidence that Chinese investors and Chinese government has in this government,” he said adding that “China considers Pakistan as a strategic friend and has confidence in Pakistan,”. Regarding the security of the Chinese nationals, the minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment for ensuring security of Chinese nationals and said that a special security unit as well as local law enforcement were tasked with ensuring their safety.
To another question regarding issues of security threats, the minister maintained that when you were fighting terrorism, the terrorists always tried to find a way somewhere.
Ahsan Iqbal said that the Chinese government had made it very clear that such cowardly incidents would not deter them from pursuing CPEC. The minister further informed that Pakistan was not opposed to Afghanistan’s inclusion in a Chinese-funded mega-development project, but would like Beijing to persuade Kabul to crack down on terrorist groups operating on its soil.