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China-Pakistan railroad will help curb extremism: Ex-Pakistan PM

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a railroad which will traverse western China through Pakistan, will help job creation as well as help to curb terrorism as people grow more prosperous, Pakistan's former prime minister told CNBC on Wednesday.

The $46B deal agreed upon between China and Pakistan will allow China to avoid its current maritime sea routes to bring products into the Middle East and Europe.

It will develop connectivity and create economic activity in Pakistan, former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said.


"When you build a road or a highway through an area where there is none, you create economic activity, you create jobs, secondly new cities come up along that route , thirdly you have industrial estates coming so a lot of job creation takes place," said Aziz.

Despite a warning from the Pentagon that China is looking to set up a naval base in the country, the Pakistani army chief visited Beijing earlier this week to further discuss the project and the Pakistani army's involvement.

The Pakistani army will provide 15,000 special security forces to protect the investment in Pakistan, which has suffered greatly over the years due to security and terrorism issue.

"Whenever you have empty bellies, people get more vulnerable and subject to extreme behavior. If you create economic activity and give them a reason to live, if you give them a better tomorrow than yesterday, people tend to be more peaceful," said Aziz.

"We have seen over the years that in areas that have grown fast and where economic growth is strong, extremism and terrorism reduces," Aziz told CNBC.

"This is a serious initiative and we will do all what it takes to provide security and leverage this linkage between the warm waters of the Arabian sea all the way up to China."


China President Xi Jinping (L) sits with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during their meeting in Islamabad, on April 20, 2015 Xi Jinping his maiden visit to Pakistan on Monday.
Pakistan Presidency Press Information Dept. | Anadalou Agency | Getty Images
China President Xi Jinping (L) sits with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during their meeting in Islamabad, on April 20, 2015 Xi Jinping his maiden visit to Pakistan on Monday.

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