BUREAU REPORT — PUBLISHED about 9 hours ago
PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said here on Thursday that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was kept in dark about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as billions of dollars were planned to be invested in Punjab province.
According to a statement, he said that he would succeed to bring a huge investment of $30 billion to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if the bigger province did not create hurdles to him.
The chief minister was speaking at an interactive session amongst industrialists, researchers and educationists at Islamia College University Peshawar. Provincial Minister Mian Jamsheddudin, Adviser to Chief Minister Mushtaq Ghani, Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Mohammad Iqbal and Islamia College University Vice-chancellor Dr Habib Ahmed were present on the occasion.
“We were deceived therefore we agitated and compelled the prime minister to convene an all-party conference. Because of our efforts, the western route became part of CPEC,” claimed Mr Khattak.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD
CM says billions of dollars to be invested in Punjab
He said that CPEC would spell out the future development status of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “The government fully understands the far reaching impacts of CPEC and the level of prosperity it would bring along for the people of the province,” he added.
The chief minister said that government, academia and industrialists needed to be on same page for durable success. He said that strong connectivity among government, researchers, investors and educationists would create new employment opportunities.
“We need to comprehend our weaknesses and take the fastest route to get complete benefit of the opportunities that CPEC creates,” said Mr Khattak. He stressed the need for integration of educational institutions, researchers and industrialists.
The chief minister said that investors were not making investment in the province owing to terrorism. He thanked China and said that CPEC attracted both foreign and domestic investors to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“Europe and America also want to be part of CPEC as they understand that they would stay behind if they don’t avail the opportunities, opened up by CPEC,” he said.
The chief minister said that his government was working on setting up 17 industrial zones in the province. He said that provincial government suggested economic zones of Hattar, Dera Ismail Khan and Reshakai for CPEC.
He said that provincial government would hold a road show in Beijing towards the end of March to market different advantages of the province. He added that province had inked a number of agreements with Chinese and other investors.
He said that Chinese showed keenness to relocate different labour intensive industries in Reshakai.
Earlier, Mohammad Iqbal said that local investors should also be given incentives on pattern of Chinese businessmen. He urged government to take effective steps for promotion of industrialisation in the province and protection of lives and properties of the people.
Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2017