Islamabad: Pakistan has requested China to include Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) project in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and also sought Chinese collaboration for setting up a desalination plant in Karachi which continues to face paucity of clean water.

This comes at a time when Karachi, the country's most populated port city, struggles with an acute water crisis.

Professor Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives during a meeting with Pang Chunxue, Chinese Charge Charge d' Affairs to Pakistan, on Tuesday, said, "My top priority is to expedite the CPEC projects to restore the confidence of the Chinese investors," reported The Nation.

The Pakistan Minister told Chinese Charge d' Affairs said that CPEC is progressing since the new government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif came to power. He also pointed out that consistent meetings are being held for the implementation of projects.

Slamming the former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, Iqbal said, "This is unfortunate that during that last four years, Special Economic Zones were not developed which led to a downturn in investment from Chinese investors."

Apart from KCR's inclusion in CPEC and the desalination plant in Karachi, Minister also urged China to resolve the issues faced by Pakistani students there, as per the media outlet.

Moreover, the minister also suggested that Pakistan and China should start working on Space Technology and said that Pakistani astronauts should be given the opportunity to go to space with the Chinese. Pang assured of China's support to for the water-related projects in Pakistan.