PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has threatened widespread protests against the federal government’s alleged plan to ‘deceive’ the province and deprive it of the due rights in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
An official statement issued here on Wednesday quoted Khattak as saying his government would protest the federal government’s ‘deceitful act’ at every relevant forum to protect the rights of the province.
It said the provincial government had unearthed the federal government’s alleged plan to deprive the province of its due rights in the context of the CPEC though the latter had earlier made all announcements and commitments in this respect publicly.
Warns his govt will also withdraw cooperation for project if reservations not addressed
Pervez Khattak said all parliamentary parties in the KP Assembly would be taken on board for the proposed ‘unprecedented protest campaign.’
He warned his government would withdraw its cooperation being extended for executing the CPEC project until their reservations were not removed.
The chief minister said the support withdrawal actions by KP government might also be including stoppage of the land acquisition process for the KP portion of the project.
He announced the decision while presiding over a meeting, which was attended by Speaker of the KP Assembly Asad Qaisar and mineral development minister Aneesazeb Tahirkheli, additional chief secretary Dr Hamad Awais Agha, chairman of the Strategic Planning Unit at the CM Secretariat Sahibzada Muhammad Saeed, leader of KP Ulasi Tehrik Dr Said Alam Mahsood and lawyer Tariq Afghan.
Commenting on the alleged designs of the federal government in connection with the CPEC project, the Chief Minister lamented that the federal government betrayal had put the KP government as well as people of the province in grave kind of shock and shattered their trust in the federal authorities.
Criticising the federal government attitude towards CPEC plan with reference to KP rights, Khattak recalled that a national consensus was evolved when KP government had voiced against the usurpation of the province’s rights in respect of the CPEC and it was assured publicly by the federal government that all provinces will get equal share in the CPEC project 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 the federal government was hiding everything regarding the CPEC project and kept the smaller provinces including KP in the dark.
Dr Said Alam Mahsood informed the meeting that the federal government had allocated a share of only 1.4 per cent for KP contrary to the Punjab that would be getting 80.4 per cent of the total budget allocation of Rs359 billion for the years 2015-17.
He said the KP’s share would be spent on the only hydropower project of Suki Kinari in Mansehra district.
The meeting was informed that the six key components of the CPEC project had also been changed in favour of Punjab and the Dera Ismail Khan–Mianwali-Burhan link of the western route was also missing in the latest map of the 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 Rs10 billion under public sector development programme.
Dr Mahsood referring to the Planning Commission of Pakistan documents and sources said the total cost of the CPEC project had been calculated at $145 billion, which would be extended to the government of Pakistan in the shape of loan, while the promised $500 billion Chinese investment would be made only at the start and end points of the corridor and that, too, not before 2024.
It was also pointed out that Rs95 billion (51.35 per cent) of the total Rs185 billion budget earmarked for the current year for the motorway project of the corridor would be spent on the Eastern Route, while the remaining 48.65 per cent budget would be utilised 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, it was revealed that the Metro Bus and underground fast track railway project had been incorporated into the CPEC, which will link Rawalpindi with Karachi through Gujranwala, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad and thus, totally excluding Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan from the project.
Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2015