Punjab seeks Chinese help

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The Punjab government has signed a memorandum of understanding with one of China’s top construction companies, Norinco, aimed at cooperating in the execution of projects in the fields of energy, transport, infrastructure, etc. Under the provisions of the MoU, Norinco will render assistance in building an industrial city along the motorway, solar energy projects in Cholistan and infrastructure for metro trains.

Punjab-China cooperation in carrying out development works in the province has an extraordinary significance on account of the presence of two positives: the Chinese unmatched commitment to whatever concerns Pakistan on the one hand, and the dynamism of Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on the other. One can hope, therefore, that the combination of the two would ensure that projects see the light of the day in the shortest possible time, the work is of the highest quality and executed with the minimum expenditure.

In a meeting with the company’s chairman and vice president on this occasion on Thursday, Mian Shahbaz referred to a number of Chinese firms operating in the country in the various fields of their expertise and expressed happiness at the state of the two countries’ equation, hardly witnessed in the contemporary political history of the world. It was not unexpected when he talked of Pak-China relations in glorious terms like “sweeter than honey....higher than the Himalayas....deeper than the ocean”.

These expressions might appear too trite because they have been used far too often, every time officials of the two countries run into each other, or simply seem unrealistic. Yet, perhaps, they are a euphemistic reflection of the unique nature of the bilateral ties.

When Norinco’s executives called on Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif at Islamabad, he asked for their assistance in overcoming the shortage of electricity that has crippled the country’s economy and brought life to a virtual halt. He specifically sought help in generating solar energy and with the use of coal. He also put before them the proposal of running underground trains in principal towns, Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, to facilitate travel by the public.

Mian Nawaz was assured by the visiting Norinco officials that they would soon send a team of experts to Pakistan and would be ready to extend all cooperation they possibly could. Considering the enthusiastic manner with which the Chinese have undertaken key infrastructure projects, in military as well as economic spheres, in Pakistan one can be sure that in this hour of trial they would also come forward to help us stand on our feet.

Courtesy:  Nation

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