The Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders (ICST) on Saturday said political developments and economic situation will not hurt the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The recent terror incidents are condemnable but these will also fail to derail or interrupt the world’s biggest ongoing developmental project, it said. The inauguration of Pak-China Optic Fibre Cable Project is a good development which will increase business, employment, boost telecom industry and reduce dependence on the submarine cable, ICST Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt. He said that all the elements including enemy nations, opponents of the economic corridor at home and others have failed to slow the pace of the project. Shahid Rasheed Butt said that foreign media recently started a campaign against the project but China’s timely intervention put everything to rest. The 3,218-km set-up of roads, railways and dry ports from Gwadar Port to Kashgar will enhance lives of about 3 billion people and help China to do trade with the half of the world through Pakistan, he said. The energy master plan of power generation projects to overcome energy crises would also benefit Pakistan while providing a platform of cooperation in the industrial and agricultural sector and will boost the tourism industry of Pakistan. To achieve maximum economic, industrial and agricultural benefits through CPEC, more consensuses in planning, research, coordination, security and consultation is needed. He noted that Pakistan is facing a serious balance of payment crisis while the International Monetary Fund is eager to know all the details of the plan which has been kept secret by Pakistan and China. The lender’s condition for the loan is linked with access to the CPEC plans which should not be accepted as it is a matter of national security, he demanded. Published in Daily Times, July 15th 2018.