Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will take Pakistan on the path of rapid progress and development as its economic future is related to the completion of various energy and infrastructure projects. He was speaking after witnessing the signing of agreement with China Gezhouba for Azad Pattan hydropower project at a ceremony here. A part of CPEC, with an investment of US$ 1.5 Billion, 700.7 MW Azad Pattan will involve no fuel import, thus enabling the country to move towards cheaper and greener power while generating local job opportunities. The project is located at River Jhelum and is expected to be completed in 2026. The prime minister further said time will prove the long term benefits of CPEC which was based upon economic cooperation between Pakistan and China. He said Pakistan can learn a lot from China in realms of economic progress and prosperity as the country was fast emerging as world economic power. He expressed the optimism that in the future, they would learn from the Chinese experiences. The CPEC has different phases with various bright aspects for prosperity and progress, he added.Referring to the signing of agreement, the prime minister said it was part of the investment to complete a power project based upon the clean energy. Unlike past, the project would not burden the people, he said, and mentioned the previous governments’ costly projects which were made functional with imported fuel, thus increasing the cost of energy manifold and stressing the local currency. The prime minister said due to those policies, the power industry ran into losses impacting the consumers. He regretted that the country could not compete with its neighbouring countries in terms of generating the low-cost energy. He said the hydro power generation was considered as big source of clean energy which was also in line with his government’s policy of ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ and regarded as environment friendly. It would also help stem the impacts of the global warming, he added.The prime minister also appreciated the energy ministry, CPEC Authority, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab governments for the agreement over the project. CPEC Authority Chairman Lt Gen (r) Asim Saleem Bajwa, on the occasion, said the project will be completed by utilizing the indigenous resources. He said work on CPEC projects continued with full force despite COVID-19 pandemic, generating job opportunities. He further briefed that during the last 10 days, they had signed agreements for bringing worth $4 billion investment and for generation of 1,800 MW low cost power in the country. These projects would provide jobs to about 8,000 locals.Bajwa said despite prevailing situation of Covid-19 in the country, the mega project of CPEC was moving forward with full force and more projects under CPEC would be signed in near future. He said the project would not only produce 701 MW clean and low-cost electricity but it would also attract $1.5 billion foreign investment besides providing over 3000 jobs in the country.He said according to vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the country was moving forward to produce clean and cheaper electricity instead of utilizing the expensive imported fuel. He said under the vision of the prime minister, the new projects were bringing billions of dollars of foreign investment instead of putting burden of loans on the government.Last year in November, Pakistan and China agreed to include 700 megawatts Azad Pattan hydropower project under the CPEC. which is to be financed through Chinese currency. Azad Pattan hydropower project is a run-of-the-river scheme on the River Jhelum, in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir, with a capability of four hours of daily peaking.The project would be located near the Azad Pattan bridge upstream of 720 MW Karot hydropower project and downstream of 640 MW Mahal hydropower project and would be part of the River Jhelum hydel cascade. The project would deliver approximately 3.3 billion units of clean, renewable energy in the grid after its completion in 2026. Being developed under the 2002 power policy, the project would be transferred free of cost to the government after the term.