Committee to be formed on CPEC : Ahsan

PESHAWAR: Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Wednesday said the government has decided to form a committee to address the grievances of the provinces on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

While briefing representatives of various political parties about CPEC in Peshawar, Iqbal said that the representatives of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the opposition would be included in the committee.

However, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Minister Mushtaq Ghani said that all the political parties who attended the briefing of Ahsan Iqbal were unsatisfied with the explanation.

Earlier addressing a function as chief guest at Khyber Medical College University (KMU), the federal minister said CPEC was a game changer and transformation project that would benefit all provinces, Gilgit Baltistan, FATA and Azad Kashmir and stressed need for political coherence for its successful execution.

Iqbal said CPEC was a project of national importance, backbone for the economy and social development of the country and will benefit the entire region.

He said it was not one road project, but a multi-sectoral framework covering energy, infrastructure, Gwadar and industrial sector in the country.

“CPEC is not related to one government or a political party as it would go up to 2030 and should not be politicized keeping in view its immense importance for the country,” he said, adding all the provinces would equally reap its benefits.

The minister said due to CPEC, Pakistan will act like a bridge country between China, Central Asian Republics and Afghanistan.

Iqbal said peace and stability was prerequisite for foreign investment and in case law and order situation, the investment would go to other countries resulting economic backwardness.

While clarifying recent controversies and concerns of some quarters, he said that over $35billion out of $46billion total Chinese investment would be spent on energy related projects through private sector under first phase of CPEC, adding the electricity produced from the energy projects would be included in national grid that would benefit all the federating units equally.

“The main focus of first phase of CPEC was energy sector, once this project was materialized, industrial zones would be established along this corridor that would generate employment opportunities for youth besides alleviating poverty and bolster industrialization.”

He said work on Western route was underway with fast pace and after completion it would bring the less developed areas of Balochistan and KP at par with developed regions of Pakistan. APP