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FT Interview Quoted Out of Context: Razzak Dawood

Islamabad (September 10, 2018): Prime Minister Adviser Razzak Dawood in a clarification on his interview published in Financial Times Monday said he has been quoted out of context by the newspaper and a detailed response in this regard will be issued today.

“The previous government did a bad job negotiating with China on CPEC — they didn’t do their homework correctly and didn’t negotiate correctly so they gave away a lot,” The Financial Times reported, quoting Dawood, PM’s Adviser on Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production and Investment.

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“Chinese companies received tax breaks, many breaks and have an undue advantage in Pakistan; this is one of the things we’re looking at because it’s not fair that Pakistan companies should be disadvantaged.”

The adviser was quoted as saying: “I think we should put everything on hold for a year so we can get our act together,” he added. “Perhaps we can stretch CPEC out over another five years or so.”Earlier, international economic magazine Financial Times claimed that Pakistan was considering to review the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement with China,

Pakistan is mulling over a review of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement with China, international economic magazine Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing Islamabad’s unease with what it claims is unjust benefit being enjoyed by Beijing-origin companies.

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According to the FT’s claim, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, who was in Pakistan over the weekend, indicated his country’s willingness to have discussions pertaining to the CPEC again. In this regard, options to extend the loan repayment period, among other plans, are being pondered upon.

Renowned economist Abdul Razzaq Dawood, who is also the advisor to prime minister Imran Khan on commerce, textiles, industries production and investment, is of the view that for the time being, all CPEC-related projects must be halted for at least a year. Deals that are giving illegal benefits to the Chinese companies need to be revisited and made anew, he added, since Pakistani companies are at a disadvantage.“The previous government did a bad job negotiating with China on CPEC — they didn’t do their homework correctly and didn’t negotiate correctly so they gave away a lot,” Dawood noted, as per the FT.

“I think we should put everything on hold for a year so we can get our act together. Perhaps we can stretch CPEC out over another five years or so,” he added.However, Michael Kugelman, the deputy director of the Wilson Center’s Asia Program, commented that slowing down the CPEC would be a major change against the policies of the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif-led government.

“A decision to slow down the #CPEC process would be a major change from the previous government’s policy,” Kugelman, a specialist on South Asian countries’ relations with the US, tweeted.

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