CPEC should develop, integrate backward areas of Pak: PTI chief

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ISLAMABAD: PTI chief Imran Khan addressing a press conference. INP PHOTO by S A QURESHI

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that the China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) should be planned and executed in a way that integrates and develops backward and deprived areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, and Balochistan.

The PTI chairman regretted that while CPEC was aimed at bringing underdeveloped areas of China on par with other parts of that country, in Pakistan it was taken into the developed parts of the country ignoring the fact that the development and integration of KP, FATA and Balochistan will add to the viability of this project as well as the progress and prosperity of the nation. He said that by concentrating on its western route not only would the cost of CPEC be reduced, but the distance too, and thus its viability.

Talking to a delegation led by Speaker KP Assembly Asad Qaisar on Thursday evening, he said that PTI would always strive to uplift backward areas, welfare of the oppressed and deprived segments of society. It will work to uplift their integration and enable them to join the mainstream.

The delegation comprised MPA and Parliamentary Secretary Dr. Haider Ali Khan, PTI Provincial Organiser Fazal Mohammad Khan, Nazims Tehsil Topai Mohammad Sohail and Tehsil Lahore (Swabi) Sohail Khan, and Tribal Leader Ayub Afridi. The later while expressing full confidence over the leadership of Imran Khan and the policies of PTI on this occasion announced that he would be joining PTI.

With regard to the reforms in FATA, the PTI Chairman said that his party will not only follow but also support the people of the area and demanded that nothing be imposed on the tribal people without their consent. He said that PTI was striving for a reform package well in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of FATA.

The PTI chairman said that the people of FATA had offered unprecedented sacrifices for Pakistan and it is high time to recognise these sacrifices.

He also welcomed tribal leader Ayub Afridi into PTI and appreciated him for joining those striving for positive change, a change aimed at the prosperity of the nation.