QUETTA: Former president Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Balochistan Mir Sadiq Ali Umrani has said that eastern Balochistan has been completely neglected in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
“Not a single project from the region has been included in the mega economic development project,” he told a press conference on Sunday.
Highlighting the canal irrigation system as the salient feature of the region, he said, “Eastern Balochistan plays an important role in the agriculture sector of the province.”
He said the rulers did not even consider including a single district of the four districts – Nasirabad, Jaffarabad, Sohbatpur and Jhal Magsi – of eastern Balochistan in the CPEC project despite its major importance in the agriculture sector.
Umrani, who is also a member of the Central Executive Committee of PPP, said that he had suggested Chief Minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri during a meeting to make rehabilitation of the canal system part of the CPEC project.
“Super flood of 2009-10 had badly damaged the canal system in the division,” he said, adding that though the government had tried to repair the system, it still requires work.
Umrani urged to include Pat Feeder, Kirthar and other distributary canals in the CPEC project as well.
“Growers are not getting water in the tail-end area for their crops as the capacity of canals could not be improved due to embezzlement of funds allocated for the purpose,” Umrani said, adding that Kachhi canal project is another such project that has been affected by the embezzlement of funds.
Pointing out the worsening situation in the education sector, he said that girls were completing their intermediate studies in workshops with tin roofs.
Answering a question, he said, “PPP has its own vote bank in Nasirabad division and will be active in Balochistan in the upcoming election.”
Umrani said that PPP should elect a candidate for NA-260 (Quetta-cum-Chagai) seat in the by-election as the party had won this seat thrice in the past.