Kashgar-Gwadar trade corridor: Chief minister takes firm stance on changes in route

Published: April 23, 2015
Email
K-P Chief Minister. Pervez Khattak: PHOTO ONLINE

K-P Chief Minister. Pervez Khattak: PHOTO ONLINE

PESHAWAR: 

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government finally broke its silence after the Chinese president’s visit over the proposed change to the Pak-China Economic Trade Corridor route. On Wednesday, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak announced at a press conference the provincial regime would protest against any such diversion which would exclude K-P.

Speaking at his official residence, Khattak expressed serious concerns over the transparency of the whole project; especially since the Centre is keeping the final map close to its chest.

He said the original plan was to make the corridor pass through Khunjerab onto Gilgit, Kohistan, Shangla, Battagram, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Hassanabdal, Mianwali, DI Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Murad Jamali, Khuzdar, Panjgur and it would end in Gwadar. However, if the proposed changes are implemented, DI Khan would be removed altogether and Layaah, Bhaakar and Multan would be added. Some of these changes came to light after the Chinese president’s trip earlier this week.

Going the long way

Khattak said the realignment of the project would increase the distance by over 600 kilometres. “DI Khan should not be excluded otherwise K-P will protest against the changes.” He added about seven to eight new towns were planned to fall along the corridor’s original route, but changes would not even leave one of them on the new path.

Khattak rubbished the federal government’s assertion that multiple routes had been planned for the Pak-China corridor. He said the proposed project was being planned since the 70s.

“With great difficulty, a single road was built and we had to wait 45 years for another,” said the chief minister.

He said deals worth $27.7 billion were signed between Pakistan and China. Of the total, Punjab’s share was $11 billion, Sindh $9 billion, K-P $2.7 billion and there was not even a single mention of Balochistan, said Khattak.

Due share

Khattak said K-P deserved double or triple the amount of its allotted share.

He stated K-P and Balochistan were not consulted and the provinces were not represented in working groups of the trade corridor. He said if the federal government had made the effort to consult K-P beforehand, these issues would not have existed altogether.

Khattak said his province was searching for investors who could finance hydroelectric projects of about 5,000 megawatts, but the federal government was running after more expensive power sources. “We have feasibility reports for these projects ready.”

Behind closed doors

Khattak raised concerns over the secretive Pak-China deals, saying it was strange that state level talks involved just two parties which decided all details without open competition and bidding.

“There is more than meets the eye,” said Khattak, adding these developments could have taken place at half the cost.

He said K-P raised this issue on the platform of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and the federal government promised them a briefing which never took place.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 23rd, 2015. 

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (15)

  • Apr 23, 2015 - 1:26AM

    K-P is too dangerous. The govt. of K-P cannot even protect it’s citizens
    there, how will it take care of the Economic Corridor? The factories. other
    manufacturing entities are leaving K-P because of extreme bhattas demanded
    by extremists and terrorists from FATA, just to do business in K-P. The province
    does not have it’s writ anywhere. Barely in Peshawar. Extremists fire RPG’s from
    FATA on your factory or place of business if you don’t pay the bhatta. Factories
    are relocating to Dubai.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Apr 23, 2015 - 1:56AM

    I wonder why Nawaz and Shahbaz are famous and interested in road building all other issues are left behind. Why the corridor doesnot touch Lahore Kala Shah Kaku. Multan Rohri and via Karchi end up in GwadarRecommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 23, 2015 - 3:18AM

    Protest to Chinese. They are our new masters. Once in full control, they will build Kalabagh dam too. Recommend

  • Chachoo
    Apr 23, 2015 - 5:15AM

    Someone should show the trade corridor Route and Plan to Mr Khattak. He is ill-advised to an extent that he is thinking that Trade corridor is some one road that should pass through DI Khan. For his information trade corridor is a broader name of many routes that even includes the Lahore-Karachi motorway as well. It is not just one route. Where he is sleeping?
    So Mr Khattak will vehemently go against the Lahore-Karachi motorway as it is a part of trade corridor.? Also why not some part of the route can pass through Punjab?.
    I said in the past and i repeat it that sooner or later PTI will just be another face of the new ANP and PTI will only try to gain ground by Ethnic and regional bashing along with the spread of false informations. Recommend

  • Qwells
    Apr 23, 2015 - 6:33AM

    C’mon CM Sb. teach us how to roll a spliff.
    Ha!Recommend

  • Petriot
    Apr 23, 2015 - 8:21AM

    All the provinces should have been consulted beforehand specially Govt of Balochistan.. coz province is in an insurgency and insurgency can only takle by Development.. this is a serious matter and army has had 5 big counter insurgency ops in Balochistan since 1948 and every time it end but after few years again starts with new leadership and area. there is a serious scence of deprivation in province and we cant finish it militarily or claming a foreign had.
    KPK has Extremism problem whisch should by takled through development. if people get education jobs earnings and amenitoes of life then why would one go to fight along with Taliban.Recommend

  • Patriot
    Apr 23, 2015 - 8:47AM

    Why are our leaders still trying to act like rulers of 17th century? this guy has a point, our prime minister is not running just punjab but the whole country. This is creating hate between the provinces.Recommend

  • AsR
    Apr 23, 2015 - 9:23AM

    Balochistan has the lion share of the investment of the corridor to develop the Gawadar port and then Gawadar-Khudzdar motorway. Hub and Gadani are going to have major power projects. Dasu and Karot hydroelectric projects are being developed in KPK. Havelian motorwar is under construction….. I though PTI is going to compete and deliver better than PML-N but unfortunately they are just trying to drag the PML-N to their poor speed of work. Recommend

  • Faisal Awan
    Apr 23, 2015 - 9:45AM

    Khattak sb, DI Khan would have been in the route, if PTI had not allowed the Massive Jain Break there. the route cannot go through area where Jail break is common. Recommend

  • Pukhtoon
    Apr 23, 2015 - 2:59PM

    @Motiwala and all others who are telling that KP has terrorism issues, i want to ask what has the federal govt done to get people out of this problem. What you mean by telling all this is that the govt should not do anything that may bring prosperity and investment to the province because its not safe there. I think its telling the people of KP that you are not part of Pakistan. Its so very disappointing to know what people in punjab think about KP.Recommend

  • roarwali
    Apr 23, 2015 - 8:49PM

    @Faisal Awan:
    Why the route should go then through a city where international cricket players are attacked, bringing an end to international cricket in Pakistan.Recommend

  • KhanKhel
    Apr 24, 2015 - 12:46AM

    I think this corridor is being built on the extreme opposition of small Provinces. Their concerns are not properly dealt with. This issue will be serious than kalabagh dam. The problem lies in punjabi establishment which dont haveany concern with the small provinces. they are mostly elite and want to divert the financial gains to their own areas wheras most of the kpk and balochistan can sufffer no big deal. i think its most irresponsible to divert a route in first place. First of all primary route should be the original one. Khattak is absolutely on the money. KPK also has trillions of ruppees due on wapda in royalty shares. I guess federal governement and punjabi establishment dont want other provinces. This can lead to revolts like bangladesh and balochi insurgency. I think high time to mend fences rather than build gaps and soring of relation interprovincially. its a serious issue and this may cause a rift and a huge one. beleive me KPK masses are furious and think it as a domination over their rightful resources. they will never ever accede to this one. Time will tell and then there will be no time or occassion for reversal. Mark my word People!Recommend

  • waseem
    Apr 24, 2015 - 12:48AM

    The Pashtuns have rendered great sacrifices in the war against terrorism. More than 40,000 or our people were killed and millions displaced,”Why should we always be the losers while Punjab reaps all the perks and privileges?

    one of idiot has said that kpk is not safe for this excomic corridor due to xyz reasons, i must
    tell him that if it was not safe how come nato has used this route for years, is any thing happen to that…NO
    we condemn it at all level,
    It seems this corridor is a joint venture between China and Punjab rather than between Pakistan and China.Recommend

  • Knight Khan
    Apr 27, 2015 - 6:16PM

    First of all the comments of Mr. Faisal Awan & Mr. Motiwala speaks of shear ignorance, self-seekness & pure materialism as can be expected from our so called “Muslims Brothers” who are skeptical about terrorism in KPK & Pukhtoons as a nation but as roarwali rightly said they can’t see their own Lions Den ravaged when attacked on Wahgah & Srilankan Team happened. Not a single one from Punjab questioned or pointed out that why is the route being altered from original plan, as all of them only care for their self interest. This isn’t the 1st time. There are previous examples of such discrimination. I remember when my uncles were stopped in Punjab KPK border & then Punjab Sindh border, prohibiting them from taking grain from native village to Karachi. Also these people are such lunatics that they don’t see not only KPK, but areas in Baluchistan & even Punjab are also suffering because of Lahore. Mianwali, Talangang etc are paying the prices of Lahore. If Baldies so much interested for Lahore to be commercial hub, then why on earth they don’t start Afghan Transit Trade Route instead ??? And what about existing road infrastructure. When oil tankers & heavy trawlers will crawl over them, 10 times the current heavy traffic, then what will became of them ??? Why not take advantage of Chinese’s situation as they have to use sea route currently for goods transport & develop / establish brand new highways throughout Pakistan ??? But as I said these people are selfish to lowest extent. Recommend

  • surkhab
    May 22, 2015 - 4:11PM

    trade route must pass through the industrialized province of punjab.as we have lot to send to gwader and to china.Recommend

More in K-P