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Pakistanis should take Alice Wells’ statement positively: US envoy

Pakistanis should take Alice Wells’ statement positively: US envoy
November 25, 2019
LAHORE (92 News) – US Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Wayne Jones has said that the Pakistanis should take US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells’ statement positively about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on Monday. Talking to the journalists during his visit to Lahore’s Wazir Khan Mosque, the US envoy said that Well’s statement was in accordance with the US foreign policy. “Pakistanis should understand Alice Wells’ statement and this should be taken positively,” he added. “Different aspects of this statement needed to be understood the US wants to observe development and prosperity in Pakistan,” he Paul Wayne mentioned. Earlier, rejecting the US statement on CPEC project, Pakistan has said that the speech by a US diplomat on CPEC is based on wrong analysis and incorrect assessment of the facts. This statement was given by the planning ministry. Commenting on her views, the ministry’s spokesperson said major share of CPEC investments are allocated to energy projects and all the energy projects are in IPP mode and thus bearing no financial liabilities on the Government of Pakistan. He said for infrastructure projects, the amount is 5.8 billion US billion dollars and that too concessionary loan at 2.34 percent with tenure of 25 years starting from 2021. He also said the first phase of CPEC focused on laying the foundations of development through creation of physical infrastructure and overcoming the energy deficit, vital for the growth of every economy. Regarding employment opportunities in the infrastructure development phase, he said primary data collected from 12 projects under CPEC revealed that of 81,121 total workforces in these projects, more than 90 percent are Pakistani workers. On Saturday, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing rejected US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alice Wells’ statement regarding CPEC. Addressing the 5th CPEC Media Forum, the Chinese ambassador said Pak-China relations are based on win-win cooperation and are mutually beneficial. He expressed astonishment over Alice Wells’ statement of higher tariff in power plants, established under CPEC. He questioned that when in 2013, the Chinese companies were establishing power plants in Pakistan, where was the US? Why it did not invest in Pakistan’s power sector despite knowing that Pakistan was in dire need of electricity. On Thursday, criticising the CPEC, Alice Wells said it is not an aid to Pakistan. She alleged that the multi-billion dollar project is certain to take a toll on Pakistan’s economy at the time of the repayment of the debt and dividend in the coming years.