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Senator says Planning Commission has lost credibility

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Proposes it be sidelined from the CPEC project

Islamabad January 19, 2016: Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the distrust with respect to CPEC alignment and implementation was growing because of contradictory statements, lack of transparency and
disregarding the constitutional bodies like council of common interest and the national parliament in addressing the issues of concern and held the planning commission responsible for this failure.

Speaking on the adjournment motion on CPEC today in the Senate he recounted the contradictory statements made by the planning commission in this regard. The arrogant commission first started by accusing the skeptics as agents provocateurs and anti state. Then it changed track and alternated between commencing work on ‘early harvest’ projects and undertaking work simultaneously on all three routes. At one time it even claimed that the eastern route had been preferred by the Chinese, he said.

After May 28 decision to give priority to western route we expected that this priority will be reflected in the allocations in the PSDP, he said.

However, next month in June the PSDP contained list of projects under
‘western route’ while there was no mention of the ‘eastern route’ as such. This was a subterfuge to give the false impression that the government wanted to build only the western route as deiced in May 28 APC.

However, a close scrutiny of the document revealed that the projects under the eastern route even though while not named as such had been
allocated over 84 billion rupees as against only 20 billion for the road projects under the western route.

Then came the drama of inaugurating the so called western route in Zhob which actually was an old road project of the 1990s.

Senator Farhatullah Babar held the Planning Commission responsible for
this atmosphere of distrust that now threatened robbing the January 15
announcement by the Prime Minister of credibility.

The way forward is to sideline the Planning Commission from the project at least temporarily and entrust the task to some figures in the government who had demonstrated some credibility and willingness to take along all stake holders and mentioned the names of leader of the house Raja Zafarul Haq and Iqbal zafar Jhagra.

He also proposed link roads connecting the Peshawar-D.I.Khan national highway with tribal areas on the one hand and the western route on the other to integrate the KPK in the project. He also called for taking
into account the reservations and requirements of the pepple of Gilgit
Baltstan which he said had been totally ignored thus far.

It is as important to take G-B on board as it is totake Gawadur on board as these areas lie at the tow ends of the Corridor and cannot be ignored, he said.

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