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Top Story

October 8, 2016



CPEC won’t be allowed to pass through KP: Khattak

Without inclusion of western route. . . .

Provincial assembly asks Centre to honour commitment on corridor

PESHAWAR: The Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP),  Pervaiz Khattak, on Friday warned that if the western route was not declared a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and all facilities were not provided to it, no road of CPEC would be allowed to pass through the province.

Speaking in the KP Assembly, the chief minister told the legislators, “I myself asked the Chinese ambassador whether the western route was a part of CPEC or not. The Chinese ambassador said ‘no’. I again asked him if there was any plan to include the western route in the CEPC, but he again replied ‘no’.

“It has been made clear that the Centre kept us in the dark. We do not need any ordinary road as we ourselves could make Metro and motorways. We should be provided an economic corridor with all facilities. We are talking about the province, not playing politics. If we were not satisfied, we would neither provide land, nor allow the work to be done,” the chief minister said.

Meanwhile, the KP Assemblyresolution asked the federal government to honour its commitment regarding  Presented by Minister for Mines and Minerals Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli and signed by representatives of all political parties except the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the resolution demanded that the federal government should ensure that the western route is part of the CPEC and is completed on priority basis. It also demanded that the decisions made at the All Parties Conference (APC) are implemented in letter and spirit and funds are allocated for the projects identified and agreed in the meeting between the federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and parliamentary leaders of the KP.

The resolution said the demands made by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in a letter to Ahsan Iqbal be accepted, more funds be released for the upgradation of Indus Highway as the Rs5 billion amount is insufficient and Gilgit-Chitral-Chakdara-Peshawar and Gilgit-Thakot-Bisham-Khwazakhela-Chakdara-Peshawar-DI Khan routes be constructed as alternate route and be made part of the CPEC.

The resolution reads, “Since CPEC is a very important project and game changer for the country, this provincial assembly thanks Chinese government for launching such a great project. It can change the fate of the people of KP, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and the whole of Pakistan if its western route is timely completed as per the announcement of prime minister. Parliamentary leaders of all political parties in the province, the chief minister and speaker provincial assembly held meetings with the federal government authorities and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also assured at the APC that western route would be part of CPEC and work on it would be started soon. However, reliable sources disclosed that the western route was not mentioned in the agreements signed with China, which created unrest in KP and Fata. This august House expects the federal government to accept the demand and constitute a committee of parliamentary leaders headed by the chief minister to monitor work on the project along with prime minister and federal minister for planning and development.”

Earlier, speaking on the resolution, parliamentary leader of the PML-N Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha said that work on the western route was already going on and federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal would brief the provincial government and political parties’ representatives at Governor’s House on October 18to remove their reservations.

He said that misunderstandings and rumours regarding the CPEC should be avoided as the commitment made by the prime minister would be honoured at all costs. He said the resolution should be delayed till Ahsan Iqbal’s visit to Peshawar.

Taking the floor, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said the projects under CPEC were kept secret till signing of the agreements. He said that coal-operated electricity generation plants were being established and no hydel power project in the KP was included in the CPEC.

“The prime minister had announced that western route would be completed on priority basis but it was known that the project was not even part of the CPEC and no allocations were made for it,” he pointed out.  

He said just up-gradation of Indus Highway cannot be termed western route as nobody would opt for investment in KP and Fata without aligned facilities like railway track, fibre optic, power and natural gas lines and deployment of security personnel. 

The chief minister said Ahsan Iqbal should come with complete documents regarding western route and copy of agreement signed with China if he wanted to satisfy the KP, otherwise further dodging on the project would not be tolerated.