CM chairs China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) meeting

Peshawar: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has unearthed the federal government alleged plan for depriving Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of its due rights in the context of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) despite its all announcements and commitments that were made publically earlier.

The Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, therefore, decided to stage widespread protest against what he called the deceitful act on the part the federal government and announced that every relevant forum would be knocked by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to protect the rights of the province till achieving the goal.

He added that all parliamentary parties of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly would be taken on board for this unprecedented protest campaign, he anticipated, and also warned that KP government will withdraw its cooperation being extended for executing CPEC project until our reservations are not removed. He said that the support withdrawal actions by KP government might also be including stoppage of the land acquisition process for the KP portion of the project.

The decision was taken at a meeting held at CM Secretariat here Wednesday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak in the chair.

Among others the meeting was also attended by the Speaker KP Assembly, Asad Qaiser , Minister for Mineral Development, Aneesa Zeb Tahirkheli, the Additional Chief Secretary Dr. Hamad Awais Agha, Chairman of the Strategic Planning Unit of the CM Secretariat Sahibzada Mohammad Saeed, leader of KP Ulasi Tehrik Dr. Said Alam Mahsood and Tariq Afghan Advocate and other concerned officers.

It was disclosed by Dr. Said Alam Mahsood that federal government had allocated a share of only 1.4% for KP province contrary to the Punjab that will be getting 80.4% of the total budget allocation of Rs.359 billion for the years 2015-17 and the said KP share would be spent on the only hydro power project of Suki Kinari in district Mansehra.

The meeting was informed that the six key components of CPEC had also been changed in favor of the Punjab province and the Dera Ismail Khan–Mianwali-Burhan link of the western route was also missing in the latest map of CPEC route which was kept secret by the federal government.

It was also found that Mianwali was being linked with Islamabad through another planned road at a cost of Rs.10 billion under public sector development program.

Dr. Mahsood referred to the Planning Commission of Pakistan documents and sources and told that total cost of CPEC had been calculated at 145 billion US dollars which would be extended to Government of Pakistan in shape of loan while the promised 500 billion USD Chinese investment would be made only at the start and end points of corridor and that too not before the year 2024.

It was also discovered that Rs.95 billion (51.35%) of the total Rs.185 billion budget earmarked for the current year for the motorway project of the corridor would be spent for the Eastern Route while the remaining 48.65% budget will be utilized for connecting Lahore with Gwadar and Karakorum Highway.

With reference to the monographic study of the roads and their facts reflected in the maps and other documents of the federal government revealed that Metro Bus and underground fast track Railways Project had also been incorporated into CPEC which will link Rawalpindi with Karachi through Gujranwala, Lahore, Multan and Faisal Abad, thus totally excluding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan.

Commenting on the alleged designs of the federal government in connection with CPEC the Chief Minister lamented that the federal government betrayal has put the KP government as well as people of the province in grave kind of shock and shattered our trust in the federal authorities.

Criticizing the federal government attitude towards CPEC plan with reference to KP rights, Mr. Khattak recalled that a national consensus was evolved when KP government had voiced against the usurpation of the province’s rights in respect of CPEC and it was assured publically by the federal government that all provinces will get equal share in CPEC projects and the western route will not only be included in the project but it would also be built on priority bases.

He regretted that nothing of sort had been found in the Planning Commission documents as well as the federal budgetary allocations. He said that the federal government was hiding everything regarding CPEC and keeping the smaller provinces including KP in the dark.

He, however, announced that KP government would not tolerate such injustice to the people of the province and would go to every extent for protecting the rights of the province.

He said, all parliamentary parties of KP Assembly will be taken into confidence for launching joint protest campaign against backing out of the commitments made on 28th May last on CPEC and as a first step the ongoing process of acquisition of land for the corridor would be stopped by KP government.

However, he said that final decision in this regard will be taken after consultation with the parliamentary parties. He said that KP money will not be allowed to be spent for unjustified benefits of the biggest province of Pakistan.

Describing the legal and constitutional aspects of CPEC, he was of the view that the federal government was not arbitrarily authorized to take such steps without consulting the federating units.