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Due share in CPEC, not meagre packages, to solve issues: ANP

Due share in CPEC, not meagre packages, to solve issues: ANP

PESHAWAR: Awami National Party leader and MNA Ghulam Ahmed Bilour has said that the federal government should give due share to the militancy-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project instead of announcing meagre packages after a disaster hits the province.

He said that China wanted this corridor to develop those parts of the country where it was facing religious extremism. The federal government here should do the same as sheer force can’t end militancy and extremism, he said.

“Development is the only way to end extremism in provinces like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan,” said the senior ANP leader, who himself had narrowly escaped a suicide blast, but his younger brother and former senior minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour was killed in a suicide attack in Dec 2012.

Speaking at a press conference at his home in Peshawar on Wednesday, he said that if these provinces were not given equal importance like Punjab than joblessness and poverty would force the people to side with extremism in one form or the other. Federal minister for planning and development and focal person of the CPEC projects, Ahsan Iqbal, thinks more like a Punjabi than a Pakistani, Mr Bilour claimed and advised him to think for the rest of Pakistan too.

The ANP leader said that unlike other political parties having financial and donation resources his party had no such resource so they could not help the quake-hit people much financially, but their party would raise voice for their rights.

“The relief package has been announced for the quake-stricken people. Let’s see if the federal government implements it too. It would be good if it does so,” said Mr Bilour. He lamented that often such promises were easily forgotten as it had been witnessed in the case of CPEC.

“The road that has been promised is like a lollipop. The people of KP and Balochistan should be given share to develop these militancy hit-provinces,” he said.

The ANP leader said that he respected people’s wish who voted Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf to power in the province, but he called on the ‘Banigala resident’ to also raise voice for the rights of this province. “A person dreaming of becoming prime minister would never raise voice for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Mr Bilour taunted the PTI leader for not giving priority to issues of KP.

“Pakhtuns have always been promised things which were never fulfilled,” he said, adding that they were not considered Pakistanis if they raised voice for their rights.

Later, he called on the government to ensure that schools and mosques damaged by the recent earthquake were rebuilt on priority. He said that the local government representatives should help in relief activities.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2015

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