Khyber Pakhtunkhwa speaker Asad Qaiser on Monday submitted a petition regarding China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the Peshawar High Court (PHC). The petition which names the federal government as a party seeks to remove reservations over the CPEC project. Asad Qaiser said he approached the court for the rights of people, adding the CPEC was a project of the entire country.
He said in spite of frequent meetings and contacts the central government has not fulfilled its promises made to the KP government. He was of the view that Federal Government has failed to dispel the complaints of KPK government and promises made to the provincial government regarding the Southern route are not being fulfilled. While responding the views of provincial lawmakers, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that projects under CPEC will benefit mostly the less developed and backward areas of the country. He said that it is not right approach of the province as no province is being deprived of its share in the project. Previously Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has raised the issue with federal government that if centre would deny the due share of the CPEC route to the province, KPK government won’t allow the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to pass through the province. He also put allegations that Punjab is trampling on the rights of smaller provinces and route of CPEC would maximize benefits for the largest province of the country.
CPEC is not just about roads instead it is a combination of many projects, including electricity, gas, LNG, fiber optics and industrial zones. Construction work on mega projects under CPEC is in full swing and currently work on the western route of the corridor is underway and Gwadar-Quetta road which is expected to be completed before the stipulated time. One by one all the projects will be completed and approach of some provincial lawmakers that construction work in their provinces is not initiated yet, is not the right approach. Lawmakers should refrain from dragging mega project of CPEC into politics. Politicians of KPK government have expressed reservations time and again and Federal government needs to redress the reservations of all provinces on CPEC. Incumbent government must form a committee to coordinate with the provinces in order to remove their ambiguities over the CPEC project. It will help to understand the issues of provinces in a better way and eventually to find solutions of the haziness. Provinces should also avoid passing statements which create more differences among the provinces and people of this country. This project is being linked with the prosperity and economic stability of the country. Project is expected to create new jobs and shrink the distance for trade for regional countries. Many regional countries including Iran and central Asian countries have already shown their interest to join the CPEC. At a time when regional countries are willing to join this massive project, we as a nation must be united for the timely construction of the project.
Federal government must redress grievances of small provinces by removing ambiguities over CPEC projects.
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