Ali Raza Rind
China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC), initially termed as game changer, has become a frequent discussion issue in Pakistan. Political figures of Balochistan and KP raised reservations and demanded all facilities being provided to eastern route like railway line, fiber optic, electricity facilities and economic zones should also be provided to western zone.
KP Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak accused Federal Government for preferring Punjab and ignoring western route, he said federal government is defrauding KP and Balochistan by just construction of roads, he questioned if other facilities would not provided other facilities than how can economic zones will be made there.
BNP President Sardar Akhtar Mengal has repeatedly expressed concerns over CPEC and raised questions about future of Gwadar which is facing scarcity of drinking water. He said that center is changing local people in minority in the name of CPEC because if they settled huge number of people in Gwadar then local people would have face a lots problems.
Experts are expecting 15 percent increase in GDP of Pakistan after functioning of CPEC which also can produce hundreds of thousand jobs and business opportunities. Initially 3 routes were suggested for CPEC identifying them as western, eastern and central route because if somewhere hurdles occurred then alternate route would be used to continue the process.
Different schools of thought are asking the question that why government is not calling meeting of Council of Common Interest which is also a legal requiremnet but center is hesitating in this regard and just a federal minister has been defending center and meeting the people who have reservations. The said Federal minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal met KP CM Pervez Khattak on Thursday but he could not satisfy him. Therefore it’s time to arrange the meeting of common interest council to address the issue.
Published in The Balochistan Point on January 11, 2016
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.