ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken serious notice of the delay in issuance of visas to Chinese nationals who are required by different Chinese companies in different projects in Pakistan.
According to top-level official sources, bureaucracy has been creating hurdles in issuing as many as 90,000 visas for Chinese professionals who are required by their employers to come to Pakistan to work on different projects launched by the Chinese companies in Pakistan. Some of major Chinese multinational companies (MNCs) whose personnel are being denied visas include Huawei Telecom, ZTE and Zong.
A senior official of the Prime Minister’s House confirmed to Daily Times on Wednesday that the prime minister has take serious notice of the matter and asked the authorities concerned to explain why Chinese professionals were not allowed to land in Pakistan. According to officials, the prime minister has recently warned that irresponsible and casual attitude of civil servants would not be endured, while best performing civil servants should be rewarded.
“The civil servants must work for the development of country. Their role is important in providing services to the betterment of Pakistan,” the sources quoted Nawaz as saying. In a bid to facilitate the Chinese investors in Pakistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already constituted a special cell at the Prime Minister Secretariat, tasking it with ensuring that bureaucratic hurdles do not affect the projects of foreign investors. The cell would become operational soon, it has been learnt. Sources close to the prime minsiter claim he wants to “derive maximum economic benefits for the country” from what they term is a “historic” investment package of $32 billion by China in Pakistan.
It has been further learnt that a letter has been issued by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat for the establishment of a separate division to monitor the officials concerned to ensure that no stone is left unturned for smooth utilisation of the investment package of $32 billion. The letter, a copy of which is exclusively available with Daily Times, states, “Pakistan would get rid of load shedding and put on the road to progress and development with the cooperation of China, and the expectations of Chinese government must be fulfilled during their operations in Pakistan.” It further states that the announcement of the investment package of $32 billion for the next seven years is a “big achievement of government”.
China is working on various projects in Pakistan. Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong has said his country is ready to deepen energy cooperation with Pakistan. “We can exactly feel the energy shortage that Pakistani people confront at present. We will like to work together with the Pakistani side to further deepen energy cooperation, including the identification of priority projects, construction of supporting facilities, and control of risks,” the ambassador told the inauguration ceremony of Port Qasim Thermal Power Project.
China and Pakistan enjoy an all-weather friendship and all round cooperation. The growth momentum of the China-Pakistan Strategic Cooperative Partnership has become more and more powerful. The ambassador said our two governments have reached important consensus on planning and development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
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