Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig (Economist):
The statement of Chinese Consul-General Long Dingbin is a slap on those elements, which have been trying to sabotage Pakistan-China friendship through different tactics. Pakistan-China leadership have agreed to strengthen bilateral relations and determined to complete all the CPEC-related projects within specified time. The CPEC will definitely improve regional connectivity and prosperity. Special Economic Zones under this mega-billion project are considered to be significant specifically for the industrial development of a country. Industrial development provides the firm standing on which any country can hope to reap long term economic benefits. So far nine special economic zones have been identified to be established soon that will create job opportunities for the people of the country.
Dr. Shahid Hassan Siddiqui (Economist):
The statement of Chinese Council General is a message to those who have been trying to create misunderstandings between China and Pakistan. China once again hinted at fresh investment in the CPEC projects with broadening of the mega project. These fresh projects will definitely improve trade and investment relations between the two countries. China is time-tested friend of Pakistan, which would never leave Pakistan in lurch and would channelize maximum resources to strengthen its languishing economy. There should be balance in local and foreign investment. CPEC will create employment opportunities and help alleviate poverty in the country. This project would not only promote trade from Gwadar to Kashgar but also ensure basic infrastructure including roads, electricity and energy projects.
Hamayun Iqbal Shami (Chairman, Pakistan Economic Forum):
China initiated CPEC project at the time in 2013 when Pakistan was facing economic crises and no country was interested to invest in Pakistan. After that we observed huge foreign investment through CPEC in the country. The government has devised comprehensive strategy in all the sectors to provide its benefit at the grass root level. CPEC is an economic corridor comprising a set of projects in energy, road, railway and fiber optics and it will open doors to economic opportunities not only to Pakistan but will physically connect China to its markets in Asia, Europe and beyond. The CPEC is not against any country but is aimed at promoting regional trade, development and prosperity. The electricity produced through CPEC power projects will also help in addressing energy shortfalls in the country as energy will be used to achieve the vital policy objectives of economic advancement and poverty alleviation.
Brig (Retd) Harris Nawaz (Defense Analyst):
It is a positive gesture of the present government that it decided to open Kartarpur border for Indian Sikhs yatrees. Sikh community from all over the world hailed Pakistan’s decision in this regard. Pakistan government is aspirant of establishing robust relations with India but the latter is not responding in positive manner. Indian political parties use anti-Muslim rhetoric including the hatred against Pakistan as a tool to win elections and it will be repeated in India’s next general election due in 2019. The negative propaganda that is sold on Indian media against Pakistan helps shape the notion among Indians that Pakistan is their eternal enemy.
Dr. Huma Baqai (IR Expert):
It is unfortunate that Indian politicians still using anti-Pakistan slogans to win general elections. But Pakistan played its role and fulfilled the dire demand of Sikh community and opened Kartarpur border. The initiative has also been seen with much interest in the world as it is being anticipated that the Corridor will greatly help reduce tension between the two arch rivals. Prime Minister Imran Khan once again extended a hand of friendship to India whereas Indian FO Sushma Swaraj once again resorted to baseless rhetoric against Pakistan and brushed aside the possibility of improvement in relations with Pakistan.