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Through G-B: Hafeez offered a seat at CPEC table

By Shabbir Mir

GILGIT: The chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan will be kept in the loop for all activities related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

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“This was decided in a meeting between the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on CPEC, Senator Mushahid Hussain, and G-B CM Hafeezur Rahman,” said an official on Wednesday. Hussain is chairing the committee on CPEC, which was constituted recently to develop a national consensus on the $46 billion economic corridor to join China’s south-western region with Gwadar Port. According to the official, the two politicians also met in Islamabad on Tuesday to settle matters.

The announcement is considered an important step to bring stakeholders of the region onboard where lawyers and politicians raised hue recently over neglecting G-B in the project. According to the official, either the CM or his nominee will represent G-B in all meetings and events taking place at a national or international level.

CM Secretariat’s spokesperson Sajjadul Haq said an international conference will be organised next year in China to attract investment for G-B. “This conference is an outcome of the CM’s meeting with Hussain in Islamabad,” said the spokesperson. He added G-B’s Karakoram International University will sign agreements with China’s Sinkiang University to encourage research on CPEC and learn the languages of respective counterparts.

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Meanwhile Rahman, who is currently in Islamabad for an official visit, also met the finance minister of Belarus and agreed to collaborate in the mining sector. According to officials, an agreement would be signed in March 2016 between the two countries to capitalise on minerals found abundantly in G-B. “Belarus has expressed keen interest in investing in the mining sector and a green signal has been communicated to them from our end as well,” said the official.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 12th, 2015.

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