PESHAWAR – The provincial government will not allow the Centre to acquire land for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) if it is not given its due share in the project.
This was said by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser during a seminar held at University of Agriculture on Friday. He was there alongside leaders of Awami National Party and Pakhtunkhwa Ulasi Tehrik (PUT). The seminar was organized to raise awareness about the economic importance of CPEC for the country.
Section 4 bars the sale and purchase of land set aside by the government for public-sector projects. Land can only be acquired by the federal government for the project once the K-P government enforces the section.
“The purpose of any economic corridor is to provide economic support to underdeveloped areas of the country,” Qaiser said. “For instance, China is trying to develop its western belt. However, priorities seem to have been reversed in Pakistan.” According to Qaiser, infrastructure had been completely destroyed due to war and insurgency in the country.
The assembly speaker said K-P lawmakers had held a protest in Islamabad for the first time to demand the rights of the province, he said.
According to Qaiser, a committee which consists of provincial lawmakers has been constituted to discuss means to ensure K-P is not neglected.
“This is an organised conspiracy to weaken the federation,” he said. “We are now being forced to fight for our rights.”
The CPEC aims to provide integrated links to Chinese initiatives One Road, One Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Route. The role of the provinces remains critical to the project as they will provide land for development projects and provision of allied facilities.