ISLAMABAD: Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said on Wednesday that his province was being neglected by the federal government in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
“More than Rs5,000 billion is being spent on the CPEC, but Balochistan is not receiving even one per cent of it,” he said while speaking at the Meet the Press programme at the National Press Club.
He said a major portion of the CPEC fell in Balochistan, but the people of the province were ignored in development activities being made under the project. “We have to see what benefit the people of Balochistan will get from the CPEC,” he added.
“I am collecting the record of the CPEC to ascertain what benefit will be given to our people in the grand project which is being executed in the name of Balochistan,” he maintained.
Mr Bizenjo said he was not against development activities under the CPEC and those being carried out in Punjab under the project, but he only demanded due rights of the people of Balochistan.
Talking about his election as chief minister in January this year, he said he received death threats several times on phone, but he stuck to his work and duties regarding service of the people.
“Often I received news of my own death,” he said. “I got death threats on phone but continued to work in the most difficult conditions.”
The chief minister said he responded to the death threats by telling the caller to let him work for Balochistan. “I don’t want to get involved in the politics of accusations,” he said.
In reply to a question about Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s remarks against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, he said the PM should not have passed such derogatory remarks while holding such a prestigious position. “The prime minister’s remarks have hurt the people of the whole Balochistan province,” he added.
“I don’t understand who will decide that if Nawaz Sharif and Hasil Bizenjo get votes, this is right, and if Sadiq Sanjrani becomes the Senate chairman by securing majority votes, this is wrong,” he said.
He stressed the need for eliminating what he called double standards and said: “A wrong tradition has surfaced because no one makes hue and cry when an ordinary man is convicted, but in the case of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, a question is raised that ‘why I was sent home’.”
The chief minister said his government wanted to bring to an end the atmosphere of fear and hatred and restore peace and ensure development in Balochistan.
He lauded the role of security forces for restoring peace in Balochistan and other parts of the country. Mr Bizenjo also praised the previous government of the Pakistan Peoples Party for announcing the National Finance Commission award, passing the 18th Amendment and giving a development package to Balochistan.
Published in Dawn, April 12th, 2018