Looking for answers: CM writes another letter to govt seeking clarity on CPEC

Khattak expresses reservations over inclusion of projects in western alignment


Our Correspondent April 13, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR:


The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government has written another letter to the federal government seeking clarification over ambiguities surrounding the western alignment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CEPC). The missive demands a clear answer from the federal government over the components and amenities for the western alignment of the $46 billion mega project.


The letter was sent by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak on April 11 and has been addressed to Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal.

It urges Iqbal to remove “certain ambiguities” pertaining to CPEC. According to the missive, the previous letter received from the federal government on March 31 shows a lack of clarity over various matters.

The K-P government has also sought clarity on its earlier request that all requisite amenities will be provided by the federal government as soon as the land is made available for industrial parks under the economic corridor.

“I feel the federal government must commit with more clarity to provide these amenities for these industrial parks,” stated the letter, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.

As per the letter, clearing these ambiguities will remove the trust deficit between the federal and provincial governments.

Question of inclusion

In addition, the chief minister has also expressed his reservations over the inclusion of some projects as part of the western corridor. The letters states the federal government has not made any clear commitment in this regard.

At this stage, the projects include circular railway lines from Peshawar to Nowshera, Mardan and Charsadda, a railway track from DI Khan to Peshawar, a motorway from DI Khan to Peshawar and a motorway from Karak to Taxila.

List of demands

The chief minister has also asked the federal government to include a permanent representative from the K-P government in the CPEC Directorate in Islamabad as well as in other committees and working groups form to discuss the project.

Khattak has also asked the federal government to provide details about the allocation of funds and the source of funding. He urged the federal minister to show personal interest in the matter.

Earlier, Khattak mentioned he had sent a letter to the federal government in December 2015 to demand copies of agreements signed with the Chinese government. The CM said no one responded to his request.

Rewind

On January 6, 2016, Iqbal visited K-P and tried to bring representatives from the provincial government along with member of political parties on the same page about the western alignment. However, the meeting did not bear fruit and various representatives of the K-P government said Iqbal has failed to convince them.

During the meeting, which was held at Governor House, a four-member committee was constituted. K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan, opposition leader Maulana Lutfur Rahman and Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan were part of the forum.

They were tasked with holding negotiations with the federal government over the issue.

On February 15, the provincial government issued a statement after a meeting with Iqbal and voiced satisfaction over the federal government’s attempts to address their reservations on the western alignment.

Following the meeting, the federal government sent a written explanation to the provincial government on March 31.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th,  2016.

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