Senators on Friday presented a motion in the Upper House expressing concerns that Pakistan appears to be getting the short end of the stick in Free-Trade Agreements (FTA) struck up with Beijing as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Senator Mian Atiq presented a motion in this regard, which also raised concerns that China was not utilising various economic concessions granted to it by Pakistan.

The senator further said Pakistan's value-added exports have not benefited under the FTA agreements and there are concerns regarding the promotion of local industry.

A debate regarding the benefits of the project to Pakistan took place in the House after the motion was presented.

Lawmakers also voiced concerns that information regarding the project was being withheld. They also asked what Balochistan stands to gain from the project.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani subsequently asked who in parliament was withholding requested information and summoned all records pertaining to the matter.

Benefits for Balochistan?

"China has arrived in Gwadar and almost all the business conducted in Pakistan is being undertaken by China," PML-N's Senator Kulsoom Parveen said.

"What progress has Gwadar seen under CPEC, so far?" she asked."The people of Balochistan have not gained anything from the project."

"Maybe the people of Balochistan will only be given jobs to fix punctured tires," she said.

Chiming in, Senator Azam Moosa Khel stated that "CPEC will not be successful."

"What benefits have the people of Balochistan gained from the project?" the senator asked, echoing Senator Parveen's concerns.

Transparency sought

PPP's Senator Farhatullah Babar told the Senate that the business community had sought inclusion in the formulation of agreements with China. However, they were not accommodated, he regretted.

He also called for transparency in security arrangements for CPEC, pointing out that "pieces of information regarding the project have been withheld."

"We were told that there is a long-term plan but it cannot be shared," he added.


Danger lurks
27 Sep 2021

Danger lurks

The colonial mindset continues to percolate.
Climate of change
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Climate of change

The world faces a climate emergency as the toll on people’s lives and livelihoods keeps growing.


27 Sep 2021

Phasing out coal

IN what is seen as one of the most significant developments on the climate front this year, China has pledged to end...
27 Sep 2021

Poor online score

A RECENT report by Freedom House, the US-based watchdog that assesses democratic trends around the world, has placed...
27 Sep 2021

Child’s mental capacity

CONVERTING to another faith is one of the most consequential decisions an individual can make in their lifetime. It...
Updated 26 Sep 2021

Intransigent Taliban

PRIME MINISTER Imran Khan has delivered an effective speech at the UN General Assembly session detailing the salient...
26 Sep 2021

Deadly misinformation

THE distinction between ‘fake’ and ‘authentic’ news is now a concept impossible to escape. In an...
26 Sep 2021

Covid arrests

THE unilateral decision taken by Karachi’s East Zone police to arrest citizens without Covid vaccination cards ...