FO spokesperson dismisses US claim over CPEC projects

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui has rejected US Ambassador Alice Wells claims that there is no transparency in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and Pakistan’s debt burden is growing due to Chinese financing.

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Farooqui was responding to the queries of media persons at the weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Thursday.

The FO spokesperson said that CPEC is a long term project which is a game changer for the region. She said the mega project has helped Pakistan to address issues related to energy, infrastructure, and industrialization sectors. She said CPEC also helped in job creation in the country.

She informed media persons that the total CPEC debt is about 4.9 billion dollars which is not even the ten percent of the country’s total debt.

Aisha said the project will bring economic benefits for the people of Pakistan and boost social economic development.

She highlighted that Pakistan and China have good bi-lateral ties and are strategic cooperative partners. “The CPEC is a transformational project for Pakistan and its completion is the government’s top priority.”

Aisha Farooqui said Pakistan welcomes all countries to invest in special economic zones of CPEC.

Responding to a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan has taken effective measures to meet the requirements of the FATF. He said we remain closely engaged with the FATF members, including the United States.

She pointed out Pakistan welcomes US President Donald Trump’s mediation offer on Kashmir dispute.

When asked about the induction of S-400 Air Defense system by India, Aisha said Pakistan has repeatedly expressed concerns over the induction of ballistic missile defense system in our region. She said such systems can undermine regional stability and may lead to an unnecessary arms race.

The spokesperson said the induction of ballistic missile defense system by India should not lead to any false sense of security and any misadventure since Pakistan has the technological capability to ensure the continued efficacy of its deterrence.

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