Pakistan wants more social development from China’s ‘Belt and Road’

Islamabad – Pakistan wants the projects on its soil under China’s global Belt and Road initiative to focus more on social development as well as huge infrastructure projects, a Pakistani minister said on Thursday.

Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar, minister for planning, development and reforms, made the comment after a meeting with Chinese officials in Islamabad at which they reviewed projects in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China has pledged about $60 billion in BRI loans to build power stations and road, rail and port infrastructure. Bakhtyar said a new CPEC sub-group had been set up for Chinese and Pakistani officials.

The sub-group “will include departments like education, health skills development, housing, agriculture, which could be directly beneficial to the people of Pakistan,” he told reporters.

The minister did not give details about who would pay for the more socially-focused projects. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Pakistan last week and the two sides said they were committed to the Beijing-funded projects.

"Monitoring Desk"

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