Iqbal’s statement has come a day after Financial Times reported Pakistan was mulling over a review of the CPEC agreement claiming “unjust benefits were being enjoyed by Beijing-origin companies” under the project.
While speaking to media over the matter, the former minister said any such thoughts over CPEC were disappointing as China trusted Pakistan and invested billions of dollars when no one was ready to put in even $10 in the country’s economy.
He added CPEC should not the criticised as it was this project that supported the crumbling economy of Pakistan.
Hundreds of thousands of people will be provided with employment opportunities while Pakistan will become the centre of trade once CPEC completed, Iqbal said.
But if a probe had to be launched into the agreement, Iqbal suggested an independent commission be formed.
According to the Financial Times report, renowned economist Abdul Razzaq Dawood, who is also the adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on commerce, textiles, industries production and investment, was of the view that for the time being, all CPEC-related projects must be halted for at least a year.
Deals that are giving illegal benefits to the Chinese companies need to be revisited and made anew since Pakistani companies were at a disadvantage, he was quoted as saying.