ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) met here on Monday under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed in the Parliament House.
The meeting lasted for three and a half hours and the 15 members of the Committee present were given a comprehensive briefing by the Chairman, NHA, Shahid Tarar and the DG, FWO, Major General Mohammad Afzal.
According to a press release, the focus of the briefing was on infrastructure projects under the CPEC with particular priority to the Western route as already decided by the All Parties Conference held in Islamabad on May 28, 2015.
Both Chairman, NHA and DG, FWO informed the Committee that the Western route which starts from Gwadar and goes to Kashgar in China via Balochistan, KPK and Punjab was being built on priority basis and most of its sectors would be completed by December 2016.
After detailed discussion, the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC unanimously recommended to the Federal Government that the Western route should be built as a dual carriage way at the outset and, eventually, there should be a motor way linking Gwadar with the rest of the country along the Western route as after operationalization of Gwadar Port, traffic on the Western route will increase substantially.
It may be added that the CPEC is a 15 year project between Pakistan and China spanning 2015-2030, while the Western route is among the Early Harvest Projects which have to be completed by 2018. Senator Mushahid Hussain said that the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC would preserve, promote and protect the rights and interests of the smaller provinces, particularly less developed and remote areas of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
He added that CPEC is a long-term national project, which is above politics, province, party or any government, as it has a 15-year life span from 2015-2030.
The Parliamentary Committee was also briefed by the Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power Younas Dhaga, on the Suki Kinari power project as well as coal deposits in the provinces of Balochistan and KPK, while the Additional Secretary, Planning and Development briefed the Committee on the development of agricultural sector under the CPEC.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC informed the Committee that in November, the Committee would be given a briefing by the Minister for Water & Power on the energy projects under the CPEC and and the Committee would pay a site visit to Gwadar as well as the Western route to monitor progress of the construction and related development there.
Among members present during the meeting were Lt. Gen. (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Rana Mohammad Afzal Khan, Isphanyar Bhandara, Asad Umar, Akram Khan Durrani, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Amir Haider Khan, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Senator Sardar Fateh Mohammad Hassani, Senator Lt. Gen. (R) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Senator Shibli Faraz, Senator Baz Mohammad Khan, Senator Talha Mehmood, Secretary National Assembly/Parliamentary Committee CPEC, Mohammad Riaz and Additional Secretary National Assembly, Qamar Suhail Lodhi.