Jamal Shah desires to restart cultural activities at China Culture Center
ISLAMABAD—Caretaker Minister of Heritage & Culture Mr. Jamaal Shah appreciated the transformation of China into a modern developed country during the last few decades. Addressing the audiences a chief guest of the event hosted by the Chief Editor of Diplomatic Focus magazine, Mian FazalElahi here at Serena Hotel in Islamabad he highlighted the key features of Pak-China relations and cooperation.Former Deputy Speaker of National Assembly, Mr.Faisal Karim Kunddi, Ambassadors (R) Masood Khalid, Khalid Mehmood, Syed Zulfiqar Gardezi, Former Chairman KPK Investment Board Mr.Daud Butt and Chairperson COPAIR Ms. Amna Malik also attended the event.
The caretaker federal minister said Pak-China should collaborate in all fields of art as there lays huge scope, adding that it will further strengthen people-to-people ties between the two friendly nations. He also expressed his desire to restart cultural activities at the China Culture Center and reinitiate the Pak-China cultural exchange program. In this regard, he recalled his work as an artist and as the head of the Pakistan National Council of Arts.The other speakers at the event also expressed their high hopes for the positive results of the connectivity and infrastructure in the near future as was promised by the Pakistani authorities to the people of Pakistan during the early years of the signing of the CPEC agreement in 2013.
The Charge’ D Affairs of the Chinese Embassy Ms. Pang Chunxue was determined that the cooperative partnership with Pakistan will be taken to new heights in the second Phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC. Ms. Pang Chunxue was sure that innovations in cooperation would continue in the future. “We will enhance communication between the countries of the region”, she said in her keynote address to the participants of a seminar on the completion of 10 years of CPEC.Ms. Pang Chunxue expressed her determination to continue the progress on CPEC in spite of all the challenges and hurdles created in the way by local or international players. “We will start the Green Initiative under the second phase in Pakistan.It includes green investments, green infrastructure, and green development, she said referring to the cooperation in the agricultural sector. Ms. Pang said that CPEC has contributed a lot to the economic and employment sectors of Pakistan. We will continue our work hand in hand with Pakistan. We seek economic integration with our partners.China and Pakistan are holding the next government-level dialogue in October this year. Both countries can reach many new agreements in this session.
Mr. Faisal Karim Kunddi recalled the memories of his visits to China and happily shared that due to the blessing of CPEC infrastructure androad construction, he can travel to his town Dera Ismail Khan from Islamabad within 3 hours rather than 7 hours. Some speakers pointed out the slow pace of the first phase and expected the issues would be solved with efforts from both sides soon.Ambassador (R) Khalid Mehmood said that the second phase should be focused on commerce, agriculture, industry, and science &technology transfer to Pakistan.He emphasized the establishment of Special Economic Zones, especially as envisaged bilaterally at the beginning of the work on CPEC.Khalid Mehmood has close working experience in Pak-China relations.Ambassador (R) Syed Zulfiqar Gardezi praised the work done so far and expressed his optimism about the flagship project of BRI.Lt. Gen (R)Talat Masood, regardless of his old age,attended and spoke by heart on the subject. He mentioned political uncertainty, and security challenges as the main hindrances in the true accomplishment of the idea of CPEC.” We have not seen what we had visualized” he lamented. He said that our problems and infrastructure could not match the pace required to secure the results as they were planned.
He admired the role of the Pakistan Military in providing security and helping the authorities to complete the projects. Lt. Gen (R)Talat Masood has been posted in different high-profile positions regarding security and connectivity with China. He has traveled to China many times.Ambassador (R)NaylaChohan recommended the second phase should be between Business-to-Business while the first phase was between govt-to-govt.“Unfortunately, CPEC and BRI remained affected by the misunderstandings and misconceptions.There were a lot of apprehensions of the partners in the beginning that were addressed and mitigated to the maximum level, she added.Ms. Chohan cautioned about Sustainable Development Goals achievement in 2030 which seems hard if set targets tied with CPEC are completed. Commodore (R) Babar Bilal Haider recommended the activation of Gwadar port, the main milestone at the path of CPEC where only 1.5 ships are harbored in a month. He referred to the other ports in this region and shared the number of ships that can harbor there.
The speakers highlighted tasks and targets that remained undressed in 10 years of the Pakistan Economic Corridor contrary to the tall claims and long promises of the Pakistanigovernments. Chief Editor of Diplomatic Focus, MianFazalElahi said that the China-Pakistan cooperation project was prominently featured, with a special ceremony dedicated to the distribution of plaques that recognized the outstanding contributions made by these enterprises. This gesture not only celebrated the achievements of the project but also underscored the strong and enduring friendship between the two nations.“This massive infrastructure project under CPEC has significantly improved connectivity between the two nations and is expected to stimulate trade and investment along its route”, he added.