The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday alleged that unnecessary secrecy, unilateral decisions and authoritarian mind-set had made the fate-changing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project controversial.
“Provinces continue to cry foul over the mega project due to lack of transparency and it is the responsibility of the federal government to save the project from falling prey to politics,” PEW President Dr Murtaza Mughal said in a statement.
He said that the government should take concrete steps to allay reservations of small provinces and that of Gilgit-Baltistan, otherwise, it would endanger the project which could change the destiny of every Pakistani.
He urged the politicians to learn a lesson from the failure of Kalabagh dam project and stop sacrificing national interests for personal gains.
The project, he said, enjoyed unprecedented support of the masses in the beginning but absence of consensus and some half-hearted steps by the government without taking the stakeholders into confidence changed the situation.
“Why would the provinces support a project when its details are kept hidden from them and even the federal ministers, provincial planning commissions and the State Bank governor are kept in dark?”
Dr Mughal said that China was completing parts of the corridor in other countries but it was still under discussion in Pakistan which was unfortunate.
“The differences over CPEC route etc are frustrating the Chinese government and companies, disappointing local and foreign investors and sending a very wrong signal,” he noted.
He said that secrecy had not only paved way for suspicion but it had also encouraged some elements to use social media for fake maps and wrong news which could harm harmony among the federating units.