Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday (3rd July, 2017) said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had played a vital role in further strengthening Pak-China friendship but some elements, which seemingly supported Pak-China friendship, in fact covertly opposed that.
“They have left no stone unturned to initiate negative propaganda about the CPEC projects. Our opponents and critics claimed that these projects would not be materialised but this mega CPEC project by the grace of Allah is providing 1,320-MW of electricity to the national grid,” he noted.
Shahbaz said Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to visit Pakistan in 2014 but unfortunately sit-ins were staged. “I am an eyewitness that the sit-in organisers were requested that the president of our most trustworthy friendly country China is coming to Pakistan, so therefore, you may leave this place for some days.
Political as well as military leadership tried their level best in this regard, but the sit-in organisers stuck to their guns and refused to leave the place. The sit-in organisers, in fact, wanted to put the future of Pakistan at stake and the Chinese president’s visit was postponed,” he recalled.
The chief minister said the completion of 1,320-MW Sahiwal Coal Power Plant in a record period of 22 months was a story of continued hard work, transparency, efficiency, trust and honesty.
He was addressing a special function held in connection with complete operationalisation of the power plant in Sahiwal. “Today is not only an occasion of joy but also a historic day. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, work on different CPEC projects, including energy, is in progress very rapidly,” said the chief minister.
He said the power plant project had broken the world record by completion in a minimum time period. “The beautiful project (CPEC), which the Pakistan and Chinese leadership dreamt of in 2013-14, has achieved its first milestone in the shape of Sahiwal Coal Power Plant today,” he noted.
He emphasised that China supported Pakistan at a time when the country had plunged into darkness, economy was sagging and the business was ruined. “China has allocated 36 billion dollars for energy related projects under the CPEC and this amount is more than the foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan. If we use our foreign exchange reserves for these projects then it would have emptied. The great benefaction of China will not be forgotten by the whole nation,” he added.
The chief minister remarked that Pakistan would continue making progress whether it was ‘Panama or Benama’ under the prime minister’s leadership. “The projects are being completed despite sit-ins and lockdown,” he remarked.
“Whether it’s sit-in or lockdown, the projects of development and prosperity of the country would be completed as the country has moved towards it destination and the 200 million people would not let this destination gone astray.”
He said the people had foiled the sit-ins and lockdown in the past and would do the same again. The elements, who alleged that China has attached strings to the CPEC, were an enemy of Pakistan, he said. The CPEC was pinching the enemy and a lot of enemies of the project had emerged, said the chief minister. “But the enemies must listen. Pakistan is an atomic power and the enemies cannot defeat us.” Earlier, Shahbaz inspected different sections of the power plant and the process of supplying coal along with the Chinese officials, including Ambassador Sun Weidong.