Shah Mahmood Qureshi asks Govt to take provinces, political leadership on board about PCEC

ISLAMABAD, Apr 22 (INP): Pakistan Tehrik e Insaaf leaders Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Asad Umer have demanded of the government to take the opposition parties and the four provincial governments into confidence about $ 45 billion agreements signed with China and particularly the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor.

Addressing a press conference at the Central Secretariat of the party here on Wednesday, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that except Punjab, the smaller provinces have reservations over the projects. He questioned as to why the projects were not brought before the Council of Common Interest to address the reservations of the Province.

The PTI Vice Chairman said some thing was being kept secret. He said national projects were being given political colour while fingers are being raised after the departure of the Chinese President over the way the PCEC would be implemented.

He said as the projects would be completed in the next 15 years, and different governments would come and go, therefore it is necessary that the provinces and political parties be taken on board.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the nation be informed about the route of the PCEC and the share of assistance and total expenditure on it. He said it would have been better if Chief Ministers of rest of three provinces would have been invited at the MoUs signing ceremony. He also said it was not understandable as to why Imran Khan was not invited at the banquet hosted in honour of the Chinese President.

Asad Umer said provinces were not consulted at the CCI about the PCEC project and only one party is invited during visits abroad and in important meetings while others are being ignored. He said loans amount to $ 35 billion involved in the project and still it is being called a game changer.

About the motions of the MQM and JUI(F) regarding membership of the PTI MNAs, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Speaker has already given his ruling over it and they are not perturbed over it. He said it takes time to understand the politics of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He said the hue and cry against PTI in the parliament was not unexpected and was part of a plan.

To a question, he said they respect Jamaat-e-Islam and gave donation of PTI votes to make its Amir Sirajul Haq a Senator and the party should have reciprocated by extending support in NA-246 by-elections in Karachi. He however said JI is a party and independent in taking its own decisions.