KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said his party does not want to make the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) controversial but rights of the people in Balochistan should be ensured in the $46 billion mega project.
The PPP chief, who was talking to a delegation of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) which called on him at Bilawal House on Tuesday, stressed that all the stakeholders should be take into confidence, adding that the PPP government provided autonomy to the provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment but the current government was not deciding about the distribution of resources and finances to the provinces, which was “a dangerous trend”.
He further said that the PPP being a federal party would not allow the important project of the CPEC to go adrift or be made controversial, but rights of the people of Balochistan and those of other federating units should be protected under all circumstances.
The BNP delegation, which was led by former MNA Rauf Mengal, earlier told the PPP chairman about the reservations of the people of Balochistan over CPEC route changes which, they said, would benefit only one province while Balochistan would get nothing. He invited the PPP chairman to attend an ‘all-parties conference’ being organised by them on the subject of ‘CPEC & Gwadar: future prospects for Balochistan’ in Islamabad on Jan10.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari promised that the PPP would attend the APC to express its policy on the CPEC, which included protection to genuine rights of Balochistan and its people.
Those present at the meeting included the BNP-M’s former MPAs Akbar Mengal, Akhtar Lango, Mohammad Qasim and from PPP senator Mohammad Yousuf Baloch, Senator Sherry Rehman and Jameel Soomro.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2016