Gwadar; January 29, 2018:
Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir traveled with Prime Minister Shahid Khawan Abbasi to attend the inauguration of the International Gwadar Expo 2018 held here at the port city of Gwadar.
During the expo, the first phase of Gwadar Port’s Free Zone was inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
In his speech, the Prime Minister commented that the free zone will help facilitate regional and global trade under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Prime Minister Abbasi said that with the introduction of a free zone Pakistan with align itself with the Belt and Road initiative through the CPEC and create new trade linkages with central Asian states helping boost economic development within the region. The inauguration of the Free Zone will also help us address the economic and social challenges faced in Balochistan facilitating the seamless integration of its people in the development of Pakistan, said the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
He said that not only will CPEC be vital in turning around the economic landscape of Pakistan but will also help generate employment.
The event was also addressed by Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Mir Hasel Bazenjo, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Dr. Ahsan Iqbal and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing.
The event was attended by Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat and commander, Southern Command of Pakistan Army Lt. General Asim Saleem Bajwa.
In a statement issued on the occasion by the President AJK’s office, he said that CPEC will connect Azad Kashmir with Gwadar and will help in the economic development of Pakistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
The President paid tribute to the Government of Pakistan and China for their collaborative effort and commitment towards the timely completion of Gwadar Port and the rapidly progressing work on various projects initiated under CPEC.
In the statement issued, he said that AJK will also reap the benefits of the CPEC project as four projects including two Hydropower Projects (Kohala and Karot), an Expressway and an Industrial Zone in Mirpur have been earmarked for Azad Kashmir. He said the projects which are under different phases of planning and execution will positively impact the development of this region helping Azad Kashmir to constructively contribute to the economy of our country.