Prime Minister Imran Khan has roundly rejected the notion being projected by US officials that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is some sort of a debt trap.
In an interview with American media outlet CNBC, PM Imran said: “Pakistan is grateful to China as they helped us in difficult times by making investments.
“We were at rock bottom when the Chinese [government] came and rescued us,” the PM said.
Responding to a question, the prime minister rejected the impression that CPEC has made Pakistan ‘indebted’ to China.
He pointed out that Chinese loans account for only 5-6 per cent of Pakistan’s total loan portfolio.
He said CPEC envisages cooperation in different sectors, including technology transfer in the agriculture sector, and “because of Chinese investment, we have been able to attract more foreign investment in the country. We are establishing special economic zones under the project.”
China is investing $62 billion in Pakistan through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as part of its Belt and Road initiative, which the government and public believe as a game-changer for the country’s destiny and senior government officials frequently speak highly of at local and international fora.
During the last five years since its advent in Pakistan, CPEC has enabled the country to avert its energy crisis, besides building an elaborate network of roads and other infrastructure in its various parts. With increasing energy and diminishing distances, not only the lifestyle of people has changed, but economic activity also got a phenomenal boost.