Senator: (CPEC International Forum held in China focuses on media, culture and commerce, says Mushahid)

ISLAMABAD: The first ever International Forum on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was very successful as it brought together for the first time, parliamentarians from major political parties and all the provinces of Pakistan, policy makers, journalists and heads of important national organisations like, the FWO and the NLC at one platform.

This was stated by Senator Mushahid Hussain, who is Chairman of the Senate Defence Committee and Co-chair of the Joint Pakistan China think-tank, Research and Development International (RDI), while talking to media here on Monday.

The forum was jointly hosted by the Xinjiang provincial government and the joint China Pakistan think tank, RDI, in the city of Karamay, close to Urumqi in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, which is the entry point for the CPEC, he said.

He said the high level meeting had the participation of the Government of Pakistan through the Minister for Planning and Reform, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal and the Government of Balochistan through the Minister for Planning and Development, Hamid Khan Achakzai.

He further said that the conference had a 3-fold significance. “First, the international forum on the CPEC has been institutionalized and now it will be a regular annual conference bringing together both sides on one platform.

He said the second, Xinjiang is the entry point of the CPEC from Chinese side and Balochistan is the entry point of the CPEC from the Port of Gwadar.

He said this conference established close relations between the two provinces of Xinjiang and Balochistan by developing a sister city relationship of Gwadar and Karamay as the top officials of Gwadar including the heads of the GPA and GDA and the Nazim of Gwadar were present.

Third, this was the first platform on which top civil and military organisations with the common goal gathered together on one platform for promoting the common objective of building the CPEC.

Both the Chinese and Pakistani side signed MOUs for future cooperation worth almost $ 2 billion. Senator Mushahid Hussain led the Pakistani delegation to attend the CPEC Forum last week which included Senator Salim Mandviwala, Chairman Senate Finance Committee, Senator Hasil Bizenjo, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Chair of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Saifullah Magsi, Senator Dr. Ashok Kumar and Shahzada Iftikharuddin, MNA from Chitral. The military side included Lt. Gen. Khalid Asghar, Quarter Master General (QMG) of the Pakistan Army, Lt. Gen. Javed Bokhari, Engineer-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, Lt. Gen. (R) Ghulam Mustafa Khan, former head of the Fauji Foundation, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Afzal, DG of the FWO, Maj. Gen. Faisal Mushtaq, DG, NLC. Dr. Akram Sheikh, former Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission.