ISLAMABAD: The much-awaited Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting, under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has been postponed for an indefinite period, it is learned.
No apparent reasons were cited for the sudden postponement of much-hyped JCC’s scheduled virtual meeting between the two sides. The JCC meeting was scheduled after October 2019 when the last meeting was held before the eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So practically, no meeting was held between Pakistan and China under CPEC at the level of JCC in almost the last two years.
First of all, the lingering pandemic of COVID-19 affected the process but now changing geopolitical situation also paved the way for the postponement of meeting at the last moment.
“On Chinese request, the JCC meeting under CPEC has been postponed” said the official sources. It was conveyed to Pakistani side on Thursday when Minister for Planning Asad Umar and Chairman CPEC Authority were chairing preparatory meeting to finalise projects to be considered into CPEC fold in virtual JCC meeting.
The ML-1 was also part of the agenda of JCC meeting, but finalisation of financing agreement was not part of it. One cabinet minister told this scribe that the JCC was supposed to show overall commitment of both sides to move towards finalising financing agreement and construction of Mainline-1 rail line from Peshawar to Karachi. The industrial cooperation could also not be finalised so far due to which the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) could not be made operational.
The CPEC had virtually gone slowed down but official quarters did not agree to this assertion. This scribe made efforts to contact Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar for seeking his comments and sent him a message as well, but got no response till filing of the story Thursday night.