PESHAWAR - Retiring their claim that the CPEC has been tempered to the disadvantage of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak Saturday said they will not allow construction of roads under the altered route.

He asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to make public actual documents of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) agreement.

“We (KP) will not let the CPEC route pass through the province if centre doesn’t build the approved Western route instead of just a simple road, which we can build by ourselves,” Khattak said while speaking at a convention held on the CPEC under the auspices of Olasi Tehreek at Auqaf Hall.

“We will not budge an inch from our principled stand, because we are here to protect our interests and rights, which have constantly been usurped by the elder brother (Punjab province),” he vowed. “The big brother eats up everything and gives nothing to others,” he added.

Under the Constitution of the country, he said, every federating unit has equal rights. But unfortunately, whenever there is something beneficial for the smaller provinces, the benefit is somehow diverted to the big brother-Punjab, which is regrettable.

The federal government should ensure equal share for all provinces. “We (smaller provinces) are united and we will not allow this ugly practice to continue anymore” he said. KP CM said that the Center will have to mend its ways. The KP has totally been ignored in the CPEC, and “we won’t let it pass through here”.

The PML-N government just wanted to build a road through the KP and not the corridor with all facilities like oil and gas pipelines, railway network and fiber optics. If just a road has to be built, the province can do that on its own, he added. “We want the western route as it is 600KM shorter and there are underdeveloped areas that come under it.”

Pervez Khattak said that under the existing CPEC setup KP is only getting 2 percent investment and benefits instead of the 13 percent share as per original plan, and that is why “I demand PM Nawaz Sharif to make public the actual documents of the CPEC”.

The federal government, he said, has been hiding the agreement and it was never presented even in the National Assembly or at any other forum. This shows that there is something fishy about it, he held.

The chief minister recalled that the prime minister had assured them during the All Parties Conference (APC) of May 28, 2015 that the western route will be constructed first, which will not be a simple road, but a complete corridor. But, unfortunately, he said not a single brick has been laid from DI Khan to Harirpur.

He said that Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal told him on phone that Said Alam Mehsud was providing wrong information and that he (Ahsan) was coming to Peshawar on January 6, 2016. But, he said he had made it clear to him that “if our information is wrong then he should provide correct information”.

Pervez Khattak said that on December 14, 2015, he had written a letter to the prime minister for provision of details regarding the economic corridor, but he did not reply, leaving him (Khattak) with no other option than going to media, and “today Ahsan Iqbal is saying that I should not have brought this issue before the media”.

He said that announcements made by him regarding the economic corridor will be fulfilled in all circumstances and if need arose, he will not hesitate from spending whole of the budget for the provision of employment to the people of KP.

Others who addressed the conference included Senior Minister Sikandar Hayat Sherpao, parliamentary leader of ANP in KP Assembly, Sardar Hussain Babak, KP Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) ex-president Zahidullah Shinwari, JI MPA Said Gul and Dr Said Alam Mehsud of Olasi Tehreek.