National Security Adviser (NSA) of Pakistan Moeed Yusuf on Thursday said the safety of foreigners in the country is Pakistan’s responsibility, and concerns of Chinese workers and engineers working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are taken seriously, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.
The NSA said that some countries and their proxy actors do not want the CPEC to succeed as they see the Pakistan-China partnership as a “threat”.
Moeed acknowledged that there have been a number of attacks on the CPEC projects, highlighting that “India supported and funded them through anti-Pakistan militant organisations operating from third countries”.
“Unfortunately, our enemies will continue to seek ways to target us,” the news agency report quoted Moeed as saying.
However, the NSA stated that regardless of these attacks, there is clear evidence that the Pakistan-China relationship is still going strong as the two countries came out “stronger and further strengthened security protocols”.
“All inimical forces working at the behest of external powers to undermine the CPEC will be defeated,” Moeed was quoted as saying, adding that Pakistan now has a mechanism to ensure the security of every Chinese citizen in the country.
He emphasised that the full potential of the CPEC will only be realised when there is peace in the region.
Moeed said that the CPEC is beneficial for both China and Pakistan as well as everyone who participates in it.
“Since the start of the project in 2014, significant progress has been made on the ground. So far, projects with a combined installed capacity of more than nine gigawatts have been completed and work on other energy projects is continuing at a pace,” APP quoted Moeed as saying.
According to the NSA, roads have also been built throughout the country to streamline internal connectivity.
“We are entering the second phase, which is critical for industrialisation in the country and connectivity between China, Pakistan and the rest of the world,” he stated, adding that this phase will involve investment in a range of sectors, including agriculture and science and technology.
The NSA further emphasised that the projects will contribute to internal physical connectivity, job creation, agricultural modernisation and industrial expansion in Pakistan.
“We envisage CPEC to be a springboard for transforming Pakistan into a regional connectivity and trade hub,” the report said quoting Moeed.
He claimed that for China, Pakistan offers an attractive investment destination.
Responding to a question, the NSA maintained that Pakistan neither believes in camp politics nor wants to be pushed in that direction.
“China has always counselled us to have good relations with everyone, and we have always maintained that Islamabad’s relations with Beijing are not exclusive,” he said.
He said that Pakistan’s good relations with China were based on shared interests and mutual respect, and do not target any other country, APP reported.