Addressing the National Economic Council meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says Pakistan’s economic indicators have significantly improved and this is acknowledged by international financial rating institutions. National Economic Council approves Annual Development Plan for next financial year. The approval was given in a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad. PM says the GDP growth rate of 5.28% for the current financial year is commendable. Pakistan is now among the fastest growing economies of the world. Federal and Provincial governments are working in harmony for development of the country. The government is focusing on energy projects. He said not only power supply is priority of the government but it is providing affordable power supply for consumers. The government is also focusing on a balanced mix of sources for energy including LNG, Coal, Hydel, Solar and Wind.

Host: Dr. Shafiq-ur-Rehman

Analysts on Telephone:

Dr. Noor Fatima (IR Expert):

The GDP growth rate indicates the development of the country. Foreign direct investment is coming to Pakistan. The trust of foreign investor has been restored in Pakistan. The government should also monitor developmental projects in different provinces as well. The incumbent government showed political intent for development and translated that into public policy after 2013 elections. The government is working on development of infrastructure in the country.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal (Economic Expert):

This has never happened in previous 10 years. Now, the government has put its target of 6% GDP in coming year. Electricity and gas shortage has decreased to a considerable level and prosperity is returning to Pakistan. In 2021, we will have surplus electricity. The government is moving towards right direction.

CPEC will not change China's position on the Kashmir issue- Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying in Regular Press Conference reiterates China’s decades old stance on Kashmir

Addressing a regular press briefing in Beijing, a spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Hua Chunying says China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will not change China's position on the Kashmir issue. As part of the Belt and Road Initiative, the CPEC will help enhance regional connectivity and promote common development and prosperity for regional countries. As for the Kashmir issue our Indian friends are very concerned about, we've said that it is an issue between India and Pakistan, and hopefully will be resolved by the two sides through dialogue and negotiation. The Belt and Road Initiative is an open and cooperative one.

Analysts on Telephone:

Dr. Ijaz Khattak (IR expert):

This is very important that countries should resolve their issues through dialogue. The world is moving forward and our region is pre-occupied by Kashmir issue. Pakistan and India should resolve their issues for greater good. The regional progress should not be affected by local issues. War has never been a solution to any issue and India has not played its cards effectively. Indian participation in CPEC will add to its significance.

Brig. Retd. Aftab Afzal (Defence Analyst):

Pakistan and China are major stakeholders in CPEC and OBOR. Nearly 68 countries are willing to be part of these initiatives. This is going to bring prosperity in the region. On the basis of ungrounded suspicions, India has not participated in this project. India has wasted many opportunities to resolve Kashmir issue. The undue delay in resolution of Kashmir issue will further add complications in the matter. India is being isolated diplomatically. It rejected Turkish and Trump administration’s offer for mediation in Kashmir issue.  China is emerging as economic super power of the region. This is beginning of a new world order.

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