Copper-and-gold project: ‘Balochistan MPAs to decide Reko Diq future’

CM Malik rejects claims that provincial govt struck a deal with any company

Mohammad Zafar April 19, 2015
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch. PHOTO: APP

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly will decide the future of the Reko Diq copper-and-gold project, said Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch on Saturday.

“I shall provide all the documents of the project to every member,” he said during the assembly session. He rejected all claims that the government had struck a deal with any company on the project.

Participating in a debate on the Kashgar-Gwadar project, CM Malik said Planning and Development Minister Ahsan Iqbal will be visiting Quetta on May 5 and the issue will be discussed then.

An adjournment motion was tabled by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party MPA Nasrullah Zehri and Deputy Opposition Leader Zamruk Khan Achakzai.

They said the Kashgar-Gwadar route is being altered and diverted to Punjab, bypassing the local Pashtun and Baloch areas. “The federal government has not properly guided the provincial government.”

CM Malik said that when the federal minister visits Balochistan, all the MPAs will be taken into confidence on the meeting with him. He assured the house that the route of the economic corridor would not be changed.

He said the parliamentarians will also be taken into confidence on the Reko Diq issue, adding that he would bring all the documents to the assembly, which would decide the future course of action.

Gwadar land issues

The chief executive also asked Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali to fix a date for a debate on the land allotment issues of Gwadar, adding that they would provide evidence to the MPAs as to what they are really doing on the Gwadar issue. “We shall compare our performance with the previous government’s.”

Malik asked the speaker to invite the MPAs of Gwadar and the opposition members to discuss the issue of Gwadar land allotment and their sale on throw-away prices. The speaker scheduled the debate for May 2.

Killa Saifullah deaths

The MPAs voiced grief over the death of five children in Killa Saifullah. They apparently died after being vaccinated for measles. The MPAs expressed mistrust in the investigating committee formed by the health minister.

Responding to the demand, CM Malik said the issue is technical. “We shall send the children’s samples to the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi and to the Islamabad laboratory. Doctors can provide a more valid report.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2015.


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