How Not to Make CPEC Controversial

implementation of the CPEC as before. Chief Minister Khattak told media he was dissatisfied with answers to the 13 questions put to the Federal Minister. Coalition partner Aftab Sherpao also declared that Iqbal’s visit had been useless. BNP-M has meanwhile called for an APC on the issue. This shows that dissatisfaction in KP and Balochistan with the way the PML-N government is trying to implement CPEC is boiling over.

The government’s informal and personalised way of conducting the affairs of the state has been questioned in the National Assembly. The best way to ensure transparency was to put all the details about the CPEC on the net, including the funding of its projects, the proposed dates for their completion, budgetary provisions, documents signed with China, the amount of direct Chinese investment, total loans with the rate of interest and firms awarded contacts along with the terms and conditions applying to them. The government, however, has acted in a way which shows it considers the CPEC Sharif’s gift to the nation and as such beyond scrutiny. The country being a federation the government is however answerable to the federal units over all projects that affect them in any way.

In case the government thought the details could not be shared with everyone on the net, the best way was to put the CPEC with required details before the CCI which provides a constitutional forum to resolve matters affecting the provinces. The government is bound under the constitution to call the CCI meeting every three months. The PML-N government however has held only five instead of required nine CCI meetings since its coming into power in May 2013. Despite promise by Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination in mid-November to hold the moot soon, there is still no word about when it is going to be held. This amounts to weakening the institution while at the same time making the CPEC controversial.

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