Senate of Pakistan

Parliamentary Committee on CPEC recommends dual carriage for western route

Parliamentary Committee on CPEC recommends dual carriage for western route

Mushahid says smaller provinces’ rights and interests to be fully protected under CPEC

The Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) met on Monday under the chairmanship of Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed in the parliament house to discuss infrastructure projects under the CPEC especially the western route.

The meeting lasted for three and a half hours and the 15 members of the Committee present were given a comprehensive briefing by the NHA Chairman Shahid Tarar and the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) Director General (DG) Major General Mohammad Afzal.

Both NHA chairman and FWO DG informed the Committee that the western route which starts from Gwadar and goes to Kashgar in China via Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab was being built on priority basis and most of its sectors would be completed by December 2016. After detailed discussion, the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC unanimously recommended to the federal government that the western route under the CPEC project should be built as a dual carriage way at the outset and, eventually, there should be a motor way linking Gwadar with the rest of the country along the western route. The Committee said that after the Gwadar Port becomes operational, traffic on the western route would increase substantially.

CPEC is a 15 year project between Pakistan and China spanning 2015-2030, while the western route is among the Early Harvest Projects which have to be completed by 2018. Senator Mushahid Hussain said that the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC would preserve, promote and protect the rights and interests of the smaller provinces, particularly less developed and remote areas of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He added that CPEC was a long-term national project, which was above politics, province, party or any government, as it had a 15-year life span from 2015-2030.

The Parliamentary Committee was also briefed by the Ministry of Water and Power Secretary Younas Dhaga on the Suki Kinari power project as well as coal deposits in the provinces of Balochistan and KP, while the Planning and Development additional secretary briefed the Committee on the development of agricultural sector under the CPEC.

The Parliamentary Committee on CPEC chairman informed the Committee that in November, the Committee would be given a briefing by the Water and Power minister on the energy projects under the CPEC and that the Committee would pay a site visit to Gwadar as well as the western route to monitor progress of the construction and related development there.

Among members present during the meeting were Lt. Gen. (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Rana Mohammad Afzal Khan, Isphanyar Bhandara, Asad Umar, Akram Khan Durrani, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Syed Ghazi Gulab Jamal, Amir Haider Khan, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Senator Sardar Fateh Mohammad Hassani, Senator Lt. Gen. (r) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Senator Shibli Faraz, Senator Baz Mohammad Khan, Senator Talha Mehmood as well as National Assembly/Parliamentary Committee CPEC Secretary Mohammad Riaz and National Assembly Additional Secretary Qamar Suhail Lodhi.

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