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No CPEC projects being reviewed: FO

12 October, 2018

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The Foreign Office on Thursday categorically said that no projects agreed upon as part of the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative were being reviewed by the current government.

“No CPEC projects are being reviewed … Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on the matter was taken out of context,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Faisal told a weekly press briefing. “Both Pakistan and China are open to third party investment in some of the projects, including the special economic zones,” he said, adding that Pakistan had held talks with Saudi Arabia for investment in some of the CPEC projects.

The spokesman said communications with the United States had increased since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government assumed office in August this year.

Regarding the recent visit of Special Representative of the US Secretary of State on Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, he said, “Pakistan conveyed to the US side that it will take all possible steps in good faith to facilitate the political settlement in Afghanistan. It is the responsibility of the US, Afghanistan and all stakeholders to bring Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table.”

Commenting on the recent India-Russia air defense system deal, Dr Faisal said, “Pakistan is against arms race in the region.” The countries which are providing weapons to India should make sure that their assistance does not disturb balance of power in the region, he said, adding that human and economic development is the stated policy and manifesto of the present government and by indulging in the arms race, the resources cannot be diverted to the development sector. He, however, made it clear that Pakistani nation and the armed forces were fully prepared to respond to any aggression.

Regarding continuing Indian atrocities in the occupied valley, Dr Faisal said the Indian security forces were attempting to harass Kashmiris. Condemning the arrest of Hurriyat leaders, he said, “Polls in the occupied region are a sham activity and will never benefit India.”

Responding to a question regarding the cancellation of a scheduled meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj on the sidelines of the UNGA session last month, Dr Faisal said, “We had requested for a meeting between the two foreign ministers but India backed off despite agreeing first.”

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