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LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president and leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif tweeted on Monday that the people of Pakistan were shocked at the irresponsibility of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government.
In his tweet, Shehbaz Sharif claimed the PTI government was trying to undermine the strategic partnership between Pakistan and China by speaking in the voice of enemies of CPEC. “We will resist and reject such conspiracies, our Chinese friends should rest assured,” Shehbaz said.
The opposition leader’s criticism comes after a report in the Financial Times stated that Pakistan was mulling over a review of the CPEC agreement with China. The report quoted the advisor on textiles and industry, Abdul Razak Dawood saying that Pakistani companies were at a disadvantage and Chinese companies were getting illegal benefits. According to the report, Dawood said everything [related to CPEC] needed to be put on hold for a year or so.
The Financial Times report was dismissed by Dawood who said he was misquoted in the interview. He emphasised that Pakistan’s relationship with China was impregnable and Islamabad’s commitment to CPEC was unwavering. A statement issued by the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that during Foreing Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Pakistan, Islamabad and Beijing and agreed to accelerate the CPEC plan.
Speaking to media earlier, Shehbaz said, “It is clear that they issued adverts pertaining to hike in electricity and gas tariffs….I addressed a press conference after which their information minister denied the reports and today it is being said that the hike in tariffs has been postponed. So what do you make out of this?
Commenting on reports about CPEC, the former chief minister said, “It would be an injustice to the people of Pakistan as CPEC is a game changer,” he said
“Pakistan’s economic development, prosperity and employment in the region, exports, agricultural production and our high value added items would see a massive increase because of the economic corridor,” he said, adding that he considered CPEC a blessing for Pakistan from Almighty Allah and one should not be thankless.
PML-N leaders Mushahid Hussain and Ahsan Iqbal also voiced their criticism following the Financial Times report.
Mother of all U-turns by Govt! Sabotaging CPEC unacceptable given damage to Pakistan’s national interests by undermining strategic bond with our best friend, China. They made CPEC controversial, now this talk of rollback of CPEC. Modi/US must be delighted! https://t.co/suu14TdNW3
— Mushahid Hussain (@Mushahid) September 10, 2018
Meanwhile speaking to Geo News, Iqbal said what he had had read in the report was disappointing as China had trusted Pakistan and invested billions of dollars when no one was ready to put in even $10 in the country’s economy.