Committee: (Parliamentary Committee on CPEC meets, Western route being built on top priority, says Ahsan Iqbal)


ISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) met on Thursday here at the Parliament House under the Chairmanship of its Chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.

The members approved minutes of the first meeting held on September 15, 2015. The meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC also approved the rules of procedures of the CPEC committee as well as the proposed Work Plan which is regarding its briefings, site visits and other activities between October 15 and March 2016 for the next 6 months.

At the outset, Senator Mushahid Hussain said the Committee would work above party and provincial lines to promote the national objective of building the CPEC with consultation and consensus.

He said the Committee was a product of the meeting of May 28 All Parties Conference (APC) held at the PM House and in that meeting, he (Senator Mushahid Hussain) had stated that the western route would be given top priority because the CPEC has to be a corridor of national unity bringing peace and prosperity to all provinces particularly the less developed areas of KPK and Balochistan.

In his comprehensive briefing, the Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal, who is also the Focal Person on CPEC from the Pakistani side, said that work had already begun on the Western route of the CPEC.

He said the area from Gwadar to Sorab which would link Gwadar with Quetta and which had involved new construction of 650 km was already being constructed.

He said it would be completed by December 2016. The rest of the Western route which will link Gwadar with Kashgar, China, through Balochistan and KPK is 2518 km in length and construction of the Western route is already underway in accordance with the decision of the APC held on May 28 this year.

He also focused on projects under the CPEC pertaining to transport and infrastructure, Gwadar Port, energy and the proposed industrial parks and new economic zones. Members present expressed satisfaction at the briefing of the Minister, particularly the commitment of the government to build the Western route in accordance with the All Parties Conference.

Mushahid said the Committee would take decisions in consultation with its members and in this regard the next meeting of the Committee would be held on October 26 at the Parliament House where the Chairman, NHA would give a comprehensive briefing on the infrastructure projects of the CPEC.

Mushahid also announced that the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC would visit sites of the CPEC in November including Gwadar and the Western route of the CPEC.