Pakistan PM Shahbaz Sharif invites Turkey to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Sharif made the remarks at the launch ceremony of a fourth MILGEM class corvette warship PNS Tariq, which was inducted into the Pakistan Navy fleet at a ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif (Photo: Getty Images)
Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif (Photo: Getty Images)
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PTI

Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday invited Turkey to join the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), turning it into a trilateral arrangement so that all three friendly nations could benefit from its potential.

Sharif made the remarks at the launch ceremony of a fourth MILGEM class corvette warship PNS Tariq, which was inducted into the Pakistan Navy fleet at a ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard.

Initiated in 2018, the MILGEM project envisaged the construction of four corvettes for the Pakistan Navy - two in Pakistan and two in Turkey. Turkish Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz was also present at the ceremony.

Renewing his last year's invitation to Turkey to join the CPEC, Shehbaz said turning the multi-billion dollar infrastructure project into a trilateral arrangement would bring regional prosperity and empower people through the best facilities, including education and health.

“I think all three nations can benefit from the potential of the CPEC which has been a big success,” the prime minister underlined.

While Pakistan and China describe their relations as "all-weather", Pakistan and Turkey, both Muslim-majority nations, enjoy close bilateral ties.

Sharif also stressed the need to link Karachi's Port Qasim with the Gwadar port in Balochistan built under the CPEC.


He said following the increasing burden on Port Qasim of Karachi, Pakistan needed to create linkages between Karachi and Gwadar ports as Gwadar was about to become a business hub for the country as well as the region.

The CPEC is an ambitious USD 60-billion project that Islamabad says will transform Pakistan by improving the country's infrastructure, energy, industrialisation, socio-economic development needs and bring an improvement in the livelihoods of the people.

The CPEC is a 3,000-km-long route of infrastructure projects connecting China's northwest Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the Gwadar Port in the western Pakistan province of Balochistan.

India has protested to China over the CPEC as it is being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). 

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