Khattak asks PM to clear the air or else…

K-P CM warns of ‘extreme measures’ if concerns of his province not addressed

Iftikhar Firdous January 10, 2016
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. PHOTO: ONLINE

PESHAWAR: The Khyber-Paktunkhwa government will make one last effort for reconciliation on the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in a proposed meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before taking any extreme measure.

“The prime minister needs to clear the air on the commitments made on the western route during the all parties conference (APC) in May last year,” Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak told The Express Tribune in an interview.

Khattak’s demand came a day after China called upon all political leaders of Pakistan to resolve their differences on the project described by the federal government as a ‘game changer’ for the region. “China hopes the relevant parties in Pakistan could strengthen communication and coordination on CPEC to create favourable conditions for the project,” the Chinese Embassy said in a statement on Saturday.

Khattak said he had neither been contacted by Chinese authorities nor had anybody except Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal met him on the issue. “Our grievances should be addressed by the federal government, and they in return should address the concerns raised by the Chinese,” he said in reply to a question.

“Ahsan Iqbal’s explanation on CPEC created further doubts,” Khattak said. “After the briefing, I am hundred per cent clear there is nothing for us [K-P] in this multibillion-dollar project.”

In a letter written to the Planning Commission on December 14, 2015, Khattak had raised 13 questions. He sought transparency as well as copies of the agreements the Planning Commission had signed with their Chinese counterpart. In his answer – a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune – Iqbal said says CPEC is based on ‘one corridor with multiple passages’ which includes three routes. The K-P government’s objection is that it is the corridor which includes the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) & oil and gas pipelines, optics fiber and six other components while the rest are just roads.

All the energy projects are concentrated around proposed industrial parks. Iqbal’s written reply states the energy projects are investors-proposed IPPs and the Joint Working Group on industrial cooperation with China has not been formed but an internal working group has identified 27 industrial sites, eight of which are in K-P.  “Even the industrial zones of our share are an eyewash,” Khattak said, explaining that the eight industrial zones that Iqbal said were K-P’s share were actually K-P government’s own projects identified by the province one of which was inaugurated in Hattar, in Haripur, recently.

Even the railway track from Quetta to DI Khan is a decade-old study, he said. The link road from DI Khan to Haripur is nonexistent. “We were just given a copy of the MoU along with some incomplete concocted details and no agreements despite our insistence,” Khattak claimed.

Khattak said he has not been informed by anyone about any imminent security threats to CPEC, adding that his administration was capable of providing security. The federal government has used security as an excuse for keeping away investors, he claimed. The demand in recent times has been to end the No-Objection-Certificate (NOC) for foreigners visiting the area. “I have been informed by investors on several occasions that they are not permitted to invest in K-P,” he added, “Aren’t people killed in Karachi? We should be told if we are part of Pakistan like other provinces or not.” In the letter, Khattak has also sought details of the private investors who have invested in CPEC and where did these meetings take place?
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2016.


Dean | 8 years ago | Reply Seems like after surviving one Dharna, Nawaz Sharif is trying his best to shoot himself in the foot.
Sardar | 8 years ago | Reply Seems like after failed dhaarna PTI is trying its level best to sabotage CPEC...
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