Economic corridor: CM reiterates demand for Centre to keep promises

Says mixed signals from the federal government are a matter of concern

Our Correspondent April 25, 2016
Chief Minister Pervez Khattak. PHOTO: ONLINE

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has asked the federal government to keep its promises and ensure the timely completion of the western route of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

This was stated in a handout issued by the CM’s Secretariat on Monday. He was speaking at a meeting to discuss the $46 billion megaproject.

Parliamentary leaders of major parties participated in the moot. A briefing was arranged to keep the participants updated on development in the CPEC project, the provincial government’s stance and the different levels of correspondence and interactions with the federal government.

“We have no objection to the central route of the CPEC,” the document quoted the CM as saying. “However, the federal government, as promised earlier, should ensure the western route of the CPEC has all the facilities that the central route will.”

The Centre’s pledges and subsequent withdrawals were discussed in the meeting.

The participants of the meeting included PTI Chairperson Imran Khan, K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan. Minister for Mines and Mineral Development Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli, Minister for Public Health Engineering Shah Farman as well K-P Government Spokesperson and Special Assistant to the Chief Minister for Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani were also in attendance.

The parliamentary leaders voiced their concern over the federal government’s ambiguous attitude regarding the project. They said the Centre’s immediate response to their demands contradicted promises that it had made earlier.

They collectively raised their voice for rights for the province. The leaders added K-P has paid a heavy price in the past and the federal government’s attitude is merely adding insult to injury. They said the province was abundant with natural resources that needed to be explored and exploited for the benefit of the people.

The chief minister welcomed the unanimous stance of major parliamentary leaders in the K-P Assembly. He said the CPEC issue would be taken to the floor of the house to ensure the rights of the province.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th,  2016.