SWABI: The federal government has not made any changes in the existing route of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and all speculations regarding the western route were just false and baseless, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said while inaugurating new academic blocks at the Swabi University here on Wednesday.
He pointed out that all of the province’s concerns had been addressed and the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had been satisfied during the previous meeting held in China.
Additional projects, he said, had been announced for the province, including a plan to connect four districts of KP by a circular train, adding that an additional industrial zone in Swabi district was added to the list of projects approved for the province.
“The federal government is always ready to address KP’s grievances … CPEC is the biggest Chinese investment in any other country in the world, and we do not want to lose this opportunity,” the federal minister said.
Commenting on military courts, he said that these courts had almost eliminated militancy in the country and the ruling party will not take any unilateral decision in any matter relating to national security.
“PML-N respects the role of the opposition in national politics and this is why we respect the PPP’s majority in Sindh and PTI’s mandate in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Both these parties must also respect PML-N’s mandate at the Centre,” Ahsan Iqbal said.
Criticising the Musharraf regime, he said that it did nothing for the country even after it agreed to support the US war on terror, adding that the PML-N government had signed to send 10,000 students for PhD in the US.
The minister announced a special package for the University of Peshawar and assured that the federal government would continue to provide assistance to other KP universities.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 12th, 2017.