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CPEC Route Controversy: Khursheed Shah writes letter to PM Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: The wrangling between the opposition and the government over China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) yet to settle down as the Leader of Opposition in National Assembly has written a letter over the matter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, ARY News reported on Friday.

Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah in his letter to the Prime Minister, has highlighted the reservations of the opposition over the route of the Corridor, which is being termed the Modern Silk Road that could change the fortunes of the region.

Shah in his letter to the prime minister has complained that the government was giving preference to the eastern alignment of the corridor-which passes through various cities of his political power base of Punjab.

In letter the opposition leader spelt out the reservations over the issue and said going out of the way to benefit a portion of the country would have negative impact over other regions.

Syed Khurshid Shah said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is a life-time development opportunity for Pakistan.

In a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, he said every patriotic Pakistani sincerely supports the smooth implementation of the project.

Khurshid Shah demanded the Prime Minister to remove all reservations about its implementation and ensure completion of the project as had been agreed at All Parties Conference.

The opposition members in Senate, before walking out of the session as protest, blasted the government about alleged changes in the route of the Corridor and called the government clarifications lacking in authenticity.

Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, the Leader of the House in Senate assured the opposition members that no change made in the route of the CPEC and the government giving preference to the western alignment of the project.

The CPEC is an ongoing development mega-project which aims to connect Gwadar Port in southwestern Pakistan to China’s northwestern autonomous region of Xinjiang, via a network of highways, railways and pipelines to transport oil and gas. The economic corridor is considered central to China–Pakistan relations and will run about 3,000 km from Gwadar to Kashgar.

Overall construction costs of the project are estimated at over $46 billion, with the entire project expected to be completed in several years. The Corridor is an extension of China’s proposed 21st century Silk Road initiative.

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