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Senators ask govt to show CPEC agreement

Senators ask govt to show CPEC agreement

ISLAMABAD: The legislators in the upper house of parliament on Wednesday demanded of the government to make public agreement of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project to help clear many controversies and confusions surrounding the multi-billion-dollars project.

Speaking on an adjournment motion moved by Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini, the lawmakers ask the government to present before the house the salient points of the agreement signed between Pakistan and China with regard to the project.

Senate body accuses govt of lying about CPEC

Not only the opposition members but also senators from allied parties like the National Party (NP) and the Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) supported the motion and said such a move would clear misgivings of the smaller provinces.

Some of the senators also accused the government of deliberately hiding details of the agreement as, according to them, the project would only benefit Punjab and the rest of the provinces would be left high and dry.

Adjourning the house proceedings on Wednesday, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani directed the Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, who was not present in the House, to table the document before Senate during the current session.

Senator Jamaldini said Punjab had turned out to be a major beneficiary of the CPEC and for this very reason the government was hiding the project’s details.

The NP’s Mir Kabeer Ahmed was of the view that all provinces support that project but they had some reservations, which should be addressed.

Senate body accuses govt of lying about CPEC

“Every time government ministers come and tell us about conflicting details of routes and benefits of the project. They don’t share any solid or specific detail in black and white,” he said.

The PkMAP’s Usman Khan Kakar said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said that the CPEC project would strengthen the federation of Pakistan but with the passage of time it is ‘weakening’ the federation.

“The project has fallen prey to provincialism and prejudice. The CPEC should have been a game-changer for Pakistan but it’s turned out to be a game-changer only for Punjab,” he said.

The PTI’s Senator Nauman Wazir drew attention of the house towards Economic Coordination Council’s meeting held on Tuesday. “Minutes of that meeting related to important decisions taken by the government on the CPEC should also be made public,” he demanded.

He alleged that non-professional individuals were overseeing the project and they were unable to protect Pakistan’s interest.

Awami National Party’s (ANP) Senator Ilyas Bilour said if government continued to behave in such careless manner then it would lose unity among federating units.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Tahir Mashhadi said in the long run the CPEC would also impact Pakistan’s friendship with China as representatives of federating units in parliament after getting no answers to their questions about CPEC were now blaming China.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Taj Haider, who is also chairman of the senate special committee on the CPEC, said misunderstandings of the smaller provinces were multiplying with every passing day and situation would certainly impact Pakistan’s relation with China.

Courtesy : Express Tribune



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