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Sindh’s civil society bodies raise objections over CPEC

After Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, the civil society organisations
 of Sindh too have raised objections over the China-Pakistan Economic
Former federal secretary and analyst Fazalullah Qureshi, in a discussion
held on Sunday, said the CPEC was a political gimmick and the project
was being used by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz  to
 strengthen their grip in their constituencies in central Punjab.  
“The benefits for Sindh from the CPEC lies with construction of
Keti Bandar port in Thatta district but unfortunately the province
and the federal government have not even begun the feasibility study
of the port,” said Qureshi.
“The Keti Bandar port on Sindh’s coast can serve as commercial port
whereas Gwadar will remain a strategic one, where China can establish
 a naval base too.”
Speaking on the CPEC-related projects in Sindh, Qureshi said many
facts were distorted as the ongoing projects of Thar coal were included
in the package and it made no sense as the Sindh government and its
partners were already working on it.
He said the Sindh government should demand the construction of
new route starting from Arore (near Rohri-Sukkur) going through
Mirpurkhas up to Keti Bandar in Thatta.
He said the CPEC investment would have an independent power projects
model - Chinese companies would be given sovereign guarantees on
higher profit rates.
If implemented Central and Eastern route will cut down travel duration
to 48 from Gwadar to China border, whereas current route that China is
using takes it 45 days.
 Dispelling the impression that industrial parks will be developed under
the CPEC, Qureshi said provincial governments would invest in these
industrial zones and it is entirely up to the investors to come or not, and
such investments were conditioned with infrastructural developments
including security.
He said of $46 billion, $35 were allocated for energy projects, most of
them on coal power projects which would have serious climate change
 On Bhasha Dam, Qureshi said the government was not proactive and
serious as construction of this dam would erode need for the Kalabagh
Dam which the Punjab-centric political government had not given up in
 its plans.
He said the PPP government had spent Rs200 billion on land acquisition
 and the current government had allocated Rs80 billion but still there was
a long way to goo till the completion of the dam.
Citing the federal PSDP of current fiscal year, Qureshi said government
 had already started work on the eastern route of the CPEC.
“On the much debated western route of CPEC that is up to China whether
 to make use of that route or not, the Pakistani government in order to calm
 down anger in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa could start working on that route too,”
 he noted.
He said some of the projects mentioned in CPEC were being initiated by
Pakistan which including Gwadar international port costing Rs3 billion
and another Rs6.8 billion was allocated for Balochistan.
However, projects worth Rs80 billion under the NHA were in Punjab.
He said let us not forget that Multan-Sukkur road was constructed with
Chinese loan.
The discussion was jointly organised by the Strengthening Participatory
Organisation and the Sindh Economic Forum.
- See more at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print/93458-Sindhs-civil-society-bodies-raise-objections-over-CPEC#sthash.peB1CpT0.dpuf

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