Demanding transparency and consensus in finalisation of economic zones, PPP on Tuesday asked the government to come clean on the route to be developed on priority basis of the Economic Corridor Project together with a list of all developmental projects. The party also called for the setting up of local governments in the tribal areas on the basis of adult franchise. The demand was made in the meeting of the PPP presided over by former president Asif Ali Zardari and attended by senior leadership of the party in Zardari House.

Quoting former President Asif Ali Zardari, Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that Zardari asked party parliamentarians in the National Assembly, the Senate and provincial legislatures to invoke parliamentary instruments to press these demands and persuade the government to implement the same. “Party cadres were also directed to launch a massive public campaign aimed at raising awareness about the need for transparency and political consensus with regard to the economic projects linked with the Pak-China Economic Corridor and for the setting up of local governments in tribal areas,” he said. “Transparency and political consensus on vital issues relating to the Economic Corridor will ensure that the corridor project really turns out to be game changer not only for Pakistan but for the region,” the Spokesperson quoted the former president as saying while directing the party to raise these issues in the parliament.

The meeting welcomed the visit of the Chinese president to Pakistan, saying that the visit will further strengthen the deep rooted ties between the two countries.

It also noted that the ground work for the Corridor and other energy and economic projects with Chinese assistance, the setting up of China Bank in Pakistan, currency swap agreement between the two countries and the rebuilding of the Atabad lake road were made during the previous PPP government when the former President Zardari made no less than nine visits to China during his five year term.

 The meeting appreciated the policy of continuity in economic development projects with China saying that the way forward lay in political stability and continuity of economic policies, he said.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting also decided to press for the setting up local governments in the tribal areas so as to bring them in the national mainstream. A regulation about the setting up of local governments in tribal agencies had been signed during the previous PPP government and it was time that the locals were involved in the governance of their respective areas.

Advisor to Co-Chairman PPP on FATA former MNA Akhunzada Chatan who also attended the meeting was directed to undertake massive mobilization in the pursuit of this objective. The former President will also meet a representative jirga of the tribal people in this regard.

Issues relating to elections in Gilgit Baltistan and overall political situation in the country were also discussed during the meeting.

Besides former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gillani and Raja Pervez Ashraf, leaders of the opposition in the National Assembly and Senate Syed Khursheed Shah and Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan those who attended the four-hour long meeting included Qaim Ali Shah Sinch CM, former Chairman Senate Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, Sherry Rehman, Qamar Kaira, Saeed Ghani, Farhatullah Babar, Nadeem Afzal Chan, former CM GB Syed Mehdi Shah, political secretary Rukhsana Bangash and other.