Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig (Economist):
China extended its full support to the government to stabilize economy of Pakistan. It is time that the government should motivate the foreign investors to invest in special economic zones established under CPEC. The joint venture in the SEZs is a major area in the bilateral industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan under CPEC aiming to boost local economy and to generate employment opportunity. With the establishment of industries in SEZs, job opportunities will be created and Prime Minister’s dream to alleviate poverty from the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan is impressed with Chinese strategy as a result of which China managed to bring millions of people above poverty line.
Brig (Retd) Harris Nawaz (Defense Analyst):
The visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the United States would be vital in regard to current regional scenario. The US wants the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and without the support of Pakistan it is not possible. Pakistan has paved a way for the US and Afghan Taliban to sit on table for negotiation. The US also acknowledges the role of Pakistan in war against terrorism. The US can mediate to resolve Pakistan-India tensions as India is involved in efforts to destabilize Pakistan through terrorist activities. The apprehension of Kulbhushan Yadhav is an example of Indian nefarious designs against Pakistan.
Hamayun Iqbal Shami (Chairman, Pakistan Economic Forum):
China is a time tested friend of Pakistan and once again Chinese investors extended their support to invest in Pakistan. CPEC brings a massive dose of Chinese FDI in Pakistan. The anticipated technology transfer and the creation of a large number of jobs are dependent on the positive outcome of the industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan and foreign investment in special economic zones. Pakistan needs efficient and skilled labors rather than unskilled labor for competitiveness. The number of poorly skilled and unskilled workers is rising while national productivity is falling. In order to improve the economy of the country, Pakistan should have to focus on vocational and skill based training to the people.
Dr. Farhat Haq (Senior Analyst from United States):
The international scenario has changed in last two to three years and Donald Trump has major impact on it. The visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the United States will be fruitful as it would cover the communication gap between the two countries. It is a good development that there is change in Pakistan’s foreign policy and it is based on multilateral relations. Pakistan should eliminate its dependency on the United States and strengthens its relations with other countries including China and Russia. Pakistan is an ally of the United States but it does not mean that it should totally depend on it.
Brig (Retd) Said Nazir (Defense Analyst):
The first ever meeting between Imran Khan and President Donald Trump was much awaited. The role of Pakistan as facilitator and mediator in initiating Afghan peace dialogue and expected withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan is vital. The US administration admitted that Pakistan is supporting the United States in right trajectory. The regional issues in general and Afghan situation in particular will be discussed in Imran-Trump meeting. The situation in upcoming Afghan elections could also be discussed. Pakistan should express its concerns against peace spoilers to the United States. Pakistan could also demand the compensation over its financial loss in war against terrorism.