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Govt asked to restore Chakdarra-Dir-Chitral motorway project

Peshawar

August 9, 2020

TIMERGARA: The political leaders and civil society activists from Chitral, Upper Dir, Lower Dir and Bajaur on Saturday demanded the government to restore Chakdarra-Dir-Chitral motorway project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it was the safest, shortest and strategically-important route that would link the Central Asian States with Pakistan.

The Jamaat-e-Islami, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chapter, had arranged the all parties conference at Zawal Baba on the issue of Chakdara-Dir-Chitral Motorway, and attended by former and sitting lawmakers from the opposition benches, lawyers, traders, activists of Dir Qaumi Pasoon, members of Adenzai Qaumi Jirga and social activists from Lower Dir, Upper Dir, Chitral and Bajaur districts. Participants of the moot vowed to resist the government plan to ignore the Chakdara-Dir-Chitral CPEC route. They announced that neither PTI lawmakers nor its district office-bearers participated in the moot despite proper invitation and formal meetings with them.

Former KP governor Shaukat Ali, JI parliamentary leader MPA Inayatullah Khan, former MNAs Sahibzada Tariqullah, Akhunzada Chattan, Shehzada Iftikharud Din, former provincial ministers Muzafar Syed, Mehmood Zeb Khan, Malik Jehan Zeb, MPAs Haji Bahadar Khan, Badshah Saleh, Sahibzada Sanaullah, former MPA Izazul Mulk Afkari, traders’ leaders and lawyers spoke on the occasion. A joint declaration was issued after a four-hour discussion on the issue. The host, MPA Inayatullah Khan, announced that another such multi-party moot on August 12 would decide the future line of action.

The participants also agreed to mark August 15 as black day against the government in all the five districts of Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Upper Chitral, Lower Chitral and Bajaur for dropping the Chakdara-Dir-Chitral motorway from the PSDP projects. It was announced that all segments of the society would hoist black flags on their houses, offices and markets to record their protest against the government. Majority of the speakers were of the view that the project was included in CPEC after the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif announced to build the road in late-2016. They said that next year the project was included in the PSDP but later the PTI-led government dropped it.

The speakers also expressed anger over removal of the project from the PSDP and accused Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed of what they called misleading the nation on the assembly floor. The speakers demanded the minister to seek public apology from the nation and people of the five districts of Malakand division. The multi-party conference also demanded construction of Chukiatan-Kumrat expressway and its linking with Kalam-Swat road and to provide funds to the erstwhile Fata region according to the 25th constitutional amendment.