The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) opened the door of employment, education and development opportunities for the people of the country's southwest Gwadar district through the development of Gwadar Port and welfare work by the Chinese government and people, a Pakistani senator from Gwadar said.
Gwadar came into the limelight because of CPEC, which not only tapped the potential of the Gwadar Port but also brought a lot of positive financial changes in the lives of the residents of the district, Senator Kahuda Babar said.
"Now we have many things which we wanted to have ... We had educational issues, we had health issues, we had electricity issues, but because of CPEC we were heard, and we got facilities," he said.
Lauding the Chinese government for its support to the people of Gwadar and creating opportunities for them, the Pakistani senator said that "thanks to the Chinese government, they have granted us Gwadar East-Bay Expressway, our vocational training centers, international airport and providing more health facilities."
He noted that the Chinese government and people not only did infrastructural development in the district but also provided funds to uplift the lives of local people.
The official said that the people of Gwadar got a chance to know the culture of China through the Chinese living and working in the district and vice versa.
"Chinese are living here with us ... We live like friends, as brothers and as a family," he said, adding that there is so much cultural integration between the people of the two countries that the locals think of them as their own family, and the Chinese people also respect the culture and norms of the locals.
"We wear the same dresses; we eat the same food, we share our sorrows and happiness," he added.
Citing the example of the investment of Chinese companies in the livestock sector of Gwadar and uplifting the sector in the district, he said through it they "offered jobs exclusively for the residents of Gwadar. They are promoting the livestock market of Gwadar and giving opportunities to the locals. Before establishing the port, there were only a few opportunities for us, but now there are many."
He said that in the construction of the port, 70 percent of people had been hired from Gwadar, adding that a lot of infrastructural development work is going on in the city and the real impact of the developmental work will be visible after their completion.
Talking about the future of Gwadar, he said the industrialization process is about to start in the district in CPEC's special economic zone, which will bring a lot more employment and business opportunities for people.
Launched in 2013, CPEC is a corridor linking the Gwadar Port with Kashgar in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which highlights energy, transport and industrial cooperation.