PESHAWAR - Rejecting the proposed change in the route of Pak-China Economic Corridor, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) President Fawad Ishaq Tuesday said that he would soon meet Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan to take up this issue with him properly.  

“Any change in Gwadar-Kashgar rout is unacceptable. We think it will be an injustice with people of this militancy-shattered province. Instead of providing relief, the Federal Government is going to change the rout of the Pak-China Economic Corridor, which is regrettable” the KPCCI President said this while speaking at the ‘Guest Hour’ programme of Peshawar Press Club.

Originally, the Pak-China Economic Corridor rout was to run from Kashgar, China through Abbottabad, Mianwali, DI Khan and Zhob to Gwadar. Actually, this was the idea of the Chinese government with a purpose to see development and progress in the areas, which would pass on through this rout, Fawad Ishaq said.

Unfortunately, the PML-N government was now planning to change this rout and link it from Hasanabdal to Motorway and pass it through Lahore and Multan. This is an injustice with people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, he explained. “It will certainly create a sense of deprivation among people of the two-ever-neglected provinces-Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Thus, government should refrain from any change in the rout.

The KPCCI President Fawad Ishaq said that he would soon meet Chinese Ambassador to discuss this issue with him, and apprise him of the reservations of people of this province.  He urged upon government to reconsider its decision, otherwise warned to launch a massive movement against it. Moreover, he added that the new route is about 300 kilometers long than that of the earlier proposed original route of the project.

Accompanied by the chamber vice president, Haji Iqbal Afridi, Central president of Anjuman-e-Tajaran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sharafat Ali Mubarak and Haji Muhammad Afzal, the KPCCI president said that business community has been suffering too much just because of the unrest in the part of the country.

He called upon Federal Government to announce Hilal-e-Istaqlal for people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for bearing the burnt of terrorism. He criticised Federal Government for withdrawal of previous financial relief package for the terrorism-affected business community of the province. In this regard, “We have won a case at Peshawar High Court. Unfortunately, the Federal government has challenged it and appealed against it at apex court, asking Federal government to immediately take the case back.

Over 700 industrial units have been closed due to poor law and order situations, couple with excessive load-shedding. He also voiced reservations over imposition of moratorium on new gas connections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s total gas production is around 500 MMCFD, while its consumption is nearly 180-220 MMCFD”. Thus, it is an unjustifiable to impose ban on new gas connections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This ban should be immediately ended, Fawad Ishaq concluded.