PESHAWAR - Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Chief Sirajul Haq has urged upon Federal government not to make the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project controversial by limiting it to any specific area or specific people.  Addressing a an APC on the CPEC project at Chakdara Lower Dir here on Sunday, he said that Malakand division had equal right to be included in the CPEC project because of its strategic location.

The APC was attended by representatives of the PML-N, JUI(F), PTI MNA  Junaid Akbar, PPP’s Sahibzada Sanaullah, and others.

Sirajul Haq said that a declaration adopted at the APC pointed out that the Malakand division provided the best route for the CPEC as was short and easiest way and would also be helpful for Afghanistan and the Central Asian States.

The APC demanded that this route should be considered seriously. It also called for completing the Lewari tunnel on war footing and for including the Malakand division in the PSDP. 

Sirajul Haq said that they did not want to make the CPEC project controversial in view of its immense importance for national development but would try to adopt other options for deciding the irritants through mutual understanding. 

The JI chief said that the Malakand division had rich forests but due to lack of roads, the forests were being used by the local people for fuel. The area was without Sui gas and there was also neglected in industries. 

He noted that the Malakand division had beautiful tourist spots such as Kalam, Madyan, Garam Chashma, but due to lack of roads, the number of visitors was low. 

The APC called for separate women universities in Malakand to raise female literacy because of the traditions of the area.

Representatives of other political and religious parties also addressed the APC and asked the Federal government not to usurp rights of the smaller provinces.

Meanwhile, ANP President Asfandyar Wali Khan has asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to give a policy statement about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project on the floor of the National Assembly.

Rejecting any change in the CPEC, he said that ANP would not to let the conspirators to sabotage the CPEC project.

In a press statement issued from Bacha Khan Markaz, central headquarters of the ANP, he said that some federal ministers are trying to make the project controversial with a purpose to turn the CPEC into a personal business partnership.

Terming the CPEC, a fortune changer project, Asfandyar Wali said that certain elements were against the development of the backward areas of the country. But ANP would foil such conspiracies in this regard.

He said that ANP would not compromise on the national interest and not budge from its principle stance on the CPEC.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should implement the pledge he had made in the All Parties Conference, he said and also called for a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) on the multi-billion project immediately.