Economic corridor: After Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa voices reservations — calls it “Punjab-centered”

ISLAMABAD, Aug 16, 2015 (BE2C2/MAMOSA Report) — Political parties of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province have once again voiced reservations over the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor — weeks after Balochistan government highlighted similar stance through a report.

Through a resolution adopted at a joint conference in Peshawar on Saturday, the parties termed the project “Punjab-centred” and said its execution is contrary to the assurances made by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier this year.

Aftab Sherpao

Aftab Sherpao

The resolution stated that all political forces of the country agreed on the project therefore its benefits should not be confined to one province only.

In his address, ANP leader Iftikhar Hussain held federal minister Ahsan Iqbal responsible for the crisis. “At the behest of someone else, Iqbal is fuelling tension and creating a divide between the privileged and underprivileged provinces. The prime minister should clarify his position on the issue.”

Qaumi Watan Party Chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao was the chief guest on the occasion in which Jamaat-e-Islami K-P chief Professor Mohammad Ibrahim was also present.

Related article:
Balochistan govt claims eastern CPEC route passing through central Punjab unfeasible
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ‘to benefit Punjab at the expense of smaller provinces’

Conference participants agreed that no changes to the approved route will be tolerated. “Reaction over changes will be harsh amongst the Pukhtuns,” said Sherpao

The QWP chief said everyone is united for the rights of the Pukhtuns. “It is the K-P government’s responsibility to come forward and raise a voice for us.”

K-P government is being run by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf with major support from Jamaat Islami.

While PTI was not represented at the conference, its coalition partner Jamaat chief Prof Ibrahim maintained that the original route will benefit neglected areas of the province immensely. “Failure of the CPEC will affect relations with China.”

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