ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chief of Mission here at the Chinese Embassy, Zhao Lijian, on Wednesday dispelled the impression about less share of Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP) and Balochistan as he explained the share of four provinces in the $51.5 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Zhao’s response came in the wake of the criticism in the local press and on social media about the Western Route of the CPEC as it was alleged that there were no benefits of CPEC for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan. It was alleged that ‘P’ in CPEC stood for Punjab and it was more of a China-Punjab Economic Corridor.

The Awami National Party (ANP) was planning protests against change of the Western route of CPEC and deprivation of Pakhtun and Baloch interests.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong said that reports that he had told KP Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak that the Western route was not included in the CPEC were “untrue.”

Giving the break-up of CPEC project, Zhao wrote in a series of tweets pasted at Wali Zahid’s blog that the number of projects included: Balochistan 16, KP 8, Sindh 13 and Punjab 12.

Zhao said at least 16 projects under CPEC related to Balochistan. These included Khuzdar-Basima Highway (N-30), D I Khan-Quetta Highway (N-50), Hubco Coal Power Plant, Gwadar Power Plant, Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline, Gwadar Eastbay Expressway, Gwadar New International Airport, Gwadar Smart Port City Master Plan, Expansion of Multi-purpose Terminal including Breakwater and Dredging Wastewater, Treatment Plants for Gwadar City, Gwadar Primary School, Gwadar Hospital Upgradation, Gwadar Technical and Vocational College, Gwadar Eastbay Expressway II, Fresh Water Supply and Gwadar Free Zone.

About Khyber Pakhtun-khwa, he said at least eight he said at least eight projects under CPEC related to KP including Joint Feasibility Study for Upgradation of ML1, Establishment of Havelian Dry Port, KKH II (Havelian-Thakot), Upgradation of ML-1, KKH III (Raikot-Thakot), D I Khan-Quetta Highway (N-50), Suki Kinari Hydropower Project and Optical Fiber Cable from Rawalpindi to Khunjrab.

He said that 13 CPEC projects related to Sindh including Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line, Matiari-Faisalabad Transmission Line, Port Qasim Power Plant, Engro Thar Power Plant & Surface Mine in Block II of Thar Coal Field, Dawood Wind Farm, Jhimpir Wind Farm, Sachal Wind Farm, China-Sunec Wind Farm, Upgradation of ML-1, Thar Coal Block I & Mine Mouth Power Plant,Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG Terminal and Pipeline, Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Sukkur-Multan) and Joint Feasibility Study for Upgradation of ML1.

He said that only 12 projects under CPEC related to Punjab including Optical Fiber Cable from Rawalpindi to Khunjrab, Haier and Ruba Economic Zone II, Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Sukkur-Multan), Joint Feasibility Study for Upgradation of ML1, Upgradation of ML-1, Sahiwal Coal-Fired Power Plant, Rahimyar Khan Coal Power Plant, Karot Hydro-Power Plant, Lahore Orange Line Metro Train, Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line, Matiari-Faisalabad Transmission Line and Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park in Bahawalpur.

China has already invested $14 billion in 30 early-harvest projects to be completed under CPEC, a flagship project of the One Belt One Road initiative launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Out of the 30 projects, 16 were under construction, a statement quoted Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Zhao Lijian as saying, blogger Wali Zahid wrote.


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