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Last update: Mon, 08 Feb 2016 11am

KPCCI concerned over change in Gwadar-Kashgar corridor route

The business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has voiced reservations over diversion of the route of Gwadar-Kashgar economic corridor to Sindh and Punjab, termed the decision of the route change was tantamount to economic-genocide of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

"The changing of Gwadar-Kashgar economic route would create further sense of deprivation among backwards and terrorism-affected people of KP and Balochistan. The decision could make difficult to revive business and industrial activities and pull from long economic stagnation in these regions, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) President Fawad Ishaq while speaking at the 'Guest Hour Program' of the Peshawar Press Club here on Tuesday.

He urged the government to reconsider its decision in the best interest of these backwards and terrorism ravaged regions. Ishaq said the project was aimed at boosting trade between Pakistan, China and Central Asian states, if it would commission on previous plan, then could open new vista of opportunities on economic, trade and industrial sector in KP and Balochistan. He added that both regions need dire attention of economic and industrial acceleration on urgent basis.

Preliminarily, the KPCCI president said that it was planned to construct Pakistan-China economic corridor between southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, connecting Balochistan and from Gwadar to China. Now, he said it has been redirected to pass through most of the cities of Sindh and Punjab under the new plan. He said the new route was 300 kilometers long against the earlier proposed original route of the project.

Therefore, he said the diversion of route couldn't acceptable to them, which is not in the best interest of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. He said the new plan was tantamount to subjugate right of the people of these regions.

Accompanied by the chamber vice president, Haji Iqbal Afridi, Central President of Anjuman-e-Tajiran Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sharafat Ali Mubarak and trade union leader, Haji Muhammad Afzal and others, the KPCCI president said they would hold a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to make request to retain its previous route of the Pakistan-China economic corridor project.

Talking about owes of the business community, he said the business community was much resilient, which continued their businesses despite all odds under present circumstances. He urged the government to announce Hilal-e-Istaqlala for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for their courage and forefront role in ongoing war against terrorism. The KPCCI chief expressed grave concerns over withdrawal of the previous financial relief package, under 126-F by imposition turn-over tax under section of the terrorism-affected business community of KP. He said the federal government had challenged the decision of the Peshawar High Court in the relevant case and demanded to immediate withdraw it to pass the benefits to the community entirely. Ishaq said more than 700 industrial units have been closed due to poor law and order situation, coupled with excessive loadshedding of electricity and gas.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2015