CPEC on ground projects remained unaffected by Nawaz Sharif ouster: Chinese envoy

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ISLAMABAD - Lijian Zhao, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) and Minister Counsellor at Chinese Embassy said that after the removal of Nawaz Sharif in late July, the post of the planning minister remained vacant for about two months but added that after the appointment of Ahsan Iqbal as planning minister again, the CPEC condition improved.

“Political stability is a must for economic development,” he said in an exclusive interview with The News.

The diplomat expressed it will not be correct to say CPEC was not affected at all by the change of the prime minister and continued that to say it was affected grossly will also be a wrong statement.

“Projects on grounds remained unaffected,” the diplomat said.

Zhao clarified that Nawaz Sharif might have been removed but his party was still in the government which showed the stability of the system.

Regarding the allegations of corruption in CPEC related projects, the Chinese diplomat said so far not a single incident of corruption had been observed in projects.

“China was closely monitoring CPEC projects to ensure they were graft-free and current Chinese leadership was very strict regarding corruption”

Regarding the allegations of “mega corruption” scam worth Rs1.8 billion in Multan Metro Bus, the diplomat clarified that Yabaite lied about investment and profits in many countries to artificially raise its share prices in China for which it was probed and punished by the Chinese counterpart of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

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