–Iqbal says govt bypassed parliament to form CPEC authority
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, while rejecting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority on Tuesday, said that its formation is illegal and in violation of the recommendations of the parliamentary committee.
He said that President Arif Alvi bypassed the CPEC Committee and the parliament to sign the ordinance for the formation of the authority. “PML-N will strongly contest and protest against this act in the parliament and all relevant forums,” he said.
Ahsan pointed out that Parliamentary Committee on CPEC had unanimously opposed and rejected the formation of such a body. He said that bulldozing the parliament and implementing this authority through an ordinance is an intentional effort to make the giant national project controversial.
He added that he had personally sent a message directly to the president that the creation of this body is illegal, therefore, he should not sign it under any circumstances, but he ignored his message and the advice of the top national institution, the parliament.
“The creation of this authority is a clear message to undermine trust in civilian institutions. Investment of $28.5 billion did not come into the country through any such ‘authority’. It was brought over by a civilian political government through democratic and constitutional institutions. It does not take such bodies to complete and operate CPEC. It takes money and vision, and the current regime is devoid of both,” he reminded.
The former planning minister pointed out that the creation of this authority will create problems and complications in collaborations between ministries and department. This, he said, will create bureaucratic hurdles and limitations that will hamper and stall the CPEC.
He said that the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC recommended that the matter of formation of this authority be presented before the parliament where it should be exhaustively debated. He said that the committee had also advised not to go ahead with creation of any such body other than as an act of the parliament through legislation.
“This does not resonate with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) regime because they do not believe in the parliament and want to hide everything from the people, from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal to CPEC, which is why they have shut the parliament down,” he concluded.