ISLAMABAD - JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman yesterday said that the government must satisfy the stakeholders on their concerns over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In a joint press talk with Balochistan National Party (Mengal) chief Akhtar Mengal at his residence, Fazl said the government is duty bound to address the concerns of all the stakeholders on the CPEC routes and its related projects.
BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal suspects transparency in the project as according to him the government was hiding the actual maps of the routes as well as the MoUs and agreements of CPEC related projects.
He said that he came here to invite Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief to the all parties’ conference(APC) his party will hold in federal capital today (Sunday), which Fazl has accepted, to discuss the concerns of all stakeholders on CPEC and to search for some way forward.
Fazlur Rehman said he considered his duty to participate in the APC making it clear that they were gathering to find some negotiated settlement of the issue and they don’t want to make the project controversial.
He said that a few days back the political parties from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) had discussed the concerns of the province on the issue and later in a meeting Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal had failed to satisfy them on their concerns about the project.
Fazl , whose party is also a part of the federal government, said that all what they wanted was transparency in the execution of CPEC and all its allied projects as the people of backward areas of Balochistan and KP have associated great hopes to the economic corridor.
Akhtar Mengal also said they did not want to make the project controversial but the way federal government was keeping the things secret raise doubts about the transparency and that was the reason they were holding the APC to place their case before the stakeholders and get proper response of government on their queries.
Responding to a question Fazlur Rehman dispelled the impression that the political parties from the smaller provinces are making the project controversial and that in politics they used to discuss and debate the controversies to thrash out differences and evolve consensus.
He made it clear that they just wanted to be in picture on the CPEC routes and its allied projects and their location so that the rights of smaller provinces could be fully protected.
Akhtar Mengal said that they are not against development and all what they wanted was transparency in the execution of the projects and protection of the rights of their people.
He dispelled the impression that they were averse to dialogue process, adding that they wanted a meaningful dialogue with government and it should not confine to just a photo session.
Referring to the deprivations of the people of his province, Mengal said that right now there was acute shortage of drinking water in Gwadar and people have to pay up to Rs11,000 for a water tanker.
He said that federal government should have launched a project for provision of clean drinking water to Gwadar, the future hub of national economy, instead of launching Orange Line train in one of the provincial capitals of the country, Lahore.