Development controversy: Balochistan backtracks on CPEC route stance

Published: July 29, 2015
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP Both CM and Kaiser Bengali say route controversy now stands resolved. PHOTO: FILE

QUETTA: Less than three days after his government issued a scathing report on the government’s plans for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch appeared to have backtracked on his stance and welcomed Chinese investment in Balochistan through the CPEC. His chief economic advisor and author of that report, Kaiser Bengali, went even further and said that the CPEC route controversy has been resolved.

The chief minister made these remarks while hosting a delegation from the China Peace Development Foundation in Quetta on Tuesday. “The CPEC will bring economic and financial improvement in Balochistan and Pakistan,” Dr Malik said, adding that his administration would always welcome ‘people-friendly’ investment.

At the meeting with CPDF’s Ji Ping, Kaiser Bengali, an economist and head of the chief minister’s Policy Reform Unit, said the controversy over the CPEC route had been settled at an all parties’ conference chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The more conciliatory stance regarding CPEC is a remarkably fast volte face on the part of the Balochistan government, which has been protesting what it believes is a route taken by the federal government that will bypass most of Balochistan and thus prevent it from capitalising on what it feels is its best chance of closing the infrastructure gap with the more developed parts of the country. Indeed, Bengali himself was the lead author of a report titled China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: The Route Controversy, issued by the Balochistan government on Saturday.

Balochistan’s argument has been that the federal government’s focus on the eastern alignment would rob Balochistan of the chance to develop its own infrastructure.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2015. 

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Anon
    Jul 29, 2015 - 8:24AM

    What is going on? Why is the issue not being discussed in public. Why do we Pakistanis find it so hard to discuss and resolve outstanding issues. It should be made clear once and for all whether the Nawaz government is not playing with the CPEC to put any of the country in disadvantage to fill their and their cronies pockets.Recommend

  • Jul 29, 2015 - 11:32AM

    Pak China development programs Is the beast in Pakistan histryRecommend

  • waztaz
    Jul 29, 2015 - 12:49PM

    Is it Balochistan or Abdul Malik Baloch, who will get their due share?Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jul 30, 2015 - 2:45AM

    @Anon:Going to get kick backs and purchase agricultural lands in Punjab instead of using western side of Pakistan. Even if entire Pakistan cries will not have effect because Nawaz Shareef Ahsan Iqbal and their bed room cabinet cannot be deterredRecommend

  • Reality Check
    Jul 30, 2015 - 6:33PM

    I have read all the comments on stories related to the CPEC and i believe none of you realize the potential. CPEC isnt about facilitating chineese trade its about creating our own trade to china and beyond from the north and Gwadar and beyond from the south. If our industrial areas are not connected to the CPEC what good will that do Pakistan. Please stop negative propaganda because you are hurting Pakistan and not n league or NS grow up people. All three routes must be made functional for the betterment of Pakistan.Recommend

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