ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would himself take the political leadership of the country into confidence on the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) route on coming Wednesday and would allay their concerns whatsoever regarding the project.
Premier Sharif is very much concerned about the project and his keenness towards the success of the project that can be judged well from the point that a couple of preparatory meetings ahead of his briefing to the parliamentary leaders are arranged, a source in the ruling PML-N informed The Nation on Saturday.
The sources further informed that the Premier was perturbed over what he termed the undue criticism and politicisation of the route of the project and he had directed the concerned ministers to come up with a detailed briefing on the subject to him so that the leaders belonging to political parties could be fully satisfied at Wednesday’s meeting.
The concern of the Premier towards PCEC and other related projects to be executed with the support of China could be judged well from the fact that PM in a meeting with some cabinet members had said that he did not want to see any controversy attached with these projects.
According to the sources, Sharif in his informal interaction with heads of some political parties, who had earlier shown their reservations over the changes made in the PCEC route, assured them that there was not substance in these accusations and after the briefing all their concerns would be over.
Political analysts said that suspicion arose when Federal Minister for Planning Ch. Ahsan Iqbal refused to give details on the actual route of the economic corridor on which the political parties mainly belonging to Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa made hue and cry over the alleged changes made in the route.
The prime minister got disturbed over this growing criticism and directed Ahsan Iqbal to give briefing to the leadership of Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl), which is also ally of the ruling PML-N in federal government, and some other parties on the issue. The move had brought some respite as the leaders who had attended the meeting came up with supportive comments about the project after the meeting.
But after some time the issue once again landed at the centre stage with other parties also joining the chorus of alleged changes in the route.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui said that some elements at the behest of anti-state forces are creating confusion about the route of the corridor.
Irfan said economic agenda being pursued by the PML-N government would change the socio-economic condition of the people and convert the country into one of the most vibrant economies.