ISLAMABAD, Dec 20 (APP): Caretaker Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi on Wednesday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), formally launched in 2013, had substantially transformed the socio-economic scenario of Pakistan by addressing the dire energy crisis and crumbling infrastructure.
“The CPEC has infused hope, trust and confidence in Pakistani people”, Solangi said while delivering a keynote address at the 8th China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Media Forum.
Prior to the CPEC, Pakistan had been facing daunting challenges in 2013, that included 10-hour blackouts, a 2500 MW electricity deficit, and a $250 billion economic loss, he said, and added later the CPEC projects had profound positive effects on the lives of local people with provision employment opportunities.
He said the CPEC eventually expedited Pakistan’s economic development process and so far multiple projects had been completed in the energy sector alone. “CPEC significantly boosted Pakistan’s economic growth,” he noted.
Solangi said: “The CPEC is not just an infrastructure project; it has generated 2,36,000 jobs since 2013 and is set to create 1.2 million direct jobs, contributing to local workforce development and reducing regional disparities.”
The minister said the CPEC had significantly enhanced Pakistan’s economic growth, contributing a projected annual increase of 2 to 2.5 percentage points. “A 2018 World Bank report suggested a potential 3.5 per cent overall economic growth boost,” he added.
Going beyond the urban centres, he said the CPEC had addressed regional development gaps, fostering growth through various projects in the Western Alignment.
In the energy sector, he said CPEC’s diverse 17,045 MW capacity, encompassing hydro, wind, solar, and coal-based power generation, had ensured a sustainable and reliable supply chain.
He said the CPEC Media Forum was launched in 2104 to create awareness among the people about the ongoing propaganda against China and Pakistan.
Highlighting the critical role of media, he said : “In a world where information bombards us constantly, shaping our thoughts and opinions, it’s crucial to sift through the facts”, he added.
The CPEC Media Forum, the minister said, had significant importance for him as he had the privilege of participating in the fourth edition of the CPEC Media Forum in 2018 in Beijing, alongside Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.
During that period, he said the positive impacts of CPEC did not fully reach local communities at the initial stage, so there was widespread propaganda against CPEC and China in Western and Indian media.
He said that media’s role in shaping public perceptions of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) required objective and accurate reporting to highlight its multiple aspects.
“Propaganda really shapes how people see such projects by carefully sharing information to influence their beliefs and feelings. It uses selective facts, emotions, and sometimes misleading stories to create a specific viewpoint.”
He said that as the custodian of information, media should disseminate accurate and unbiased narratives in a responsible manner.
” In today’s information age, your role as guardians of truth is more vital than ever,” he said, and urged the media to verify, cross-check, and prioritize authenticity over sensationalism to counter the corrosive effects of fake news.
It should contribute to a constructive dialogue, conveying the true impact and potential of CPEC to the public for a prosperous future,” the minister said.
” Let’s stand united in recognizing CPEC as a transformative force that has not only reshaped our nation but has also become a beacon of hope for a brighter, more prosperous Pakistan” he said, adding “Together, let us debunk myths, celebrate achievements, and work towards a future where the promise of CPEC is fully realized”.