PESHAWAR: The Corridor Front, a forum of political parties, on Wednesday protested the start of a survey to acquire land between Havelian and Thakot in Hazara division for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and asked the provincial government not to cooperate with the federal government on it.
The demand was made during a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club.
Noted among participants were Corridor Front convener Dr Said Alam Mehsud, Farid Toofan of ANP-Wali, Shahab Khattak of Awami Workers Party, Zubair Anjum of JUI-Nazriati, Zahir Shah Safi of Pakhtunkhwa Olasi Tehreek and Rahim Shah of Fata Lawyers Forum.
Corridor Front asks KP govt not to cooperate with federal govt over the issue
Dr. Said Alam Mehsud said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak had taken a stand on the CPEC issue attracting praise of the people from across the province, but he (CM) failed to maintain it afterwards.
He said the start of survey to acquire land from Havelian to Thakot for the CPEC project showed that the provincial government had agreed to extend support to it.
“Our fight was with the federal government for the rights of the people and if the provincial government, too, have joined hands with the federal government, then there will be no difference between the federal and provincial governments in the eyes of the Corridor Front,” he said.
The Corridor Front convener said it was impossible to impose Section 4 without the support of the provincial government and that the CM should clarify his government’s position on it to prevent misunderstandings.
He said the government hadn’t allocated funds for the CPEC western route and therefore, its mala fide intent about the interests of the KP stood exposed.
Dr. Said Alam Mehsud said the Corridor Front had decided to agitate against the federal government for ignoring KP in the CPEC project though the province had seen several destructions over the years in the shape of terrorism, natural calamity and others.
“We are not against the CPEC but we can’t ignore the usurping of the rights of our province by the centre,” he said, adding if the provincial government didn’t clarify its position on the matter, then rallies would be taken out against it, too.
The Corridor Front convener said the Planning Commission of Pakistan was not competent enough to deal with the mega project like the CPEC and therefore, an independent authority having equal representation of the four provinces, Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan, should established to oversee the corridor project.
He stressed the need for an environmental study of the project in Gilgit-Baltistan and Hazara areas, where, he said, the greenery will be adversely affected due to the project as around 5,000 vehicles are likely to use the route daily.
“The northern areas should be given electricity and natural gas to save their forests and greenery,” he said.
ANP-W’s Farid Toofan urged the people to take a unified stand on the CPEC and come onto the roads to claim rights.
“No one is ready to give the province rights so the people should take the matter seriously to ensure the bright future of coming generations,” he said.
Farid Toofan said the Corridor Front was not a electoral alliance and instead, it had been formed to snatch the KP rights in the CPEC project from the federal government.
He said the KP people had rendered great sacrifices in the war against terrorism but their benefits were given to Punjab.
The ANP-W leader alleged that the federal government, especially planning and development minister Ahsan Iqbal, had tried to deceive the participants of an multi-party conference on the CPEC project and said if he (Ahsan Iqbal) was right, he should make the minutes of that moot public without delay.
The Corridor Front members announced they would launch a protest movement after Eidul Fitr if the centre didn’t assure KP of the due share in the CPEC in black and white.
Courtesy : Dawn News