Balochistan National Party (BNP) has decided to convene All Parties Conference (APC) in Islamabad in the coming days inviting all political parties of the country to discuss the reservations of the people of Balochistan on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, BNP President and former provincial chief minister Sardar Akhtar Mengal said on Sunday.
Addressing a press conference at his residence, Mengal said that the elected members of National and Provincial Assemblies from Gwadar had been sidelined and neglected while taking crucial decisions regarding the CPEC and building Gwadar port city.
Mengal was accompanied by Senator Dr Jahanzeb Jamaldini and other party leaders during the news conference. Mengal said that he would soon announce the date of the APC.
Mengal demanded of the federal government to give right to people over their provincial resources. He said that while the government often spoke of provincial autonomy, Balochistan was practically governed from the centre.
He said that BNP, at its council session last month, with newly elected leaders and colleagues of the party, had thoroughly discussed the agreements and memoranda of understanding inked pertaining to CPEC and had found out that the interests of the local people had been ignored. “Even the local representatives were not taken on board in making important decisions,” he said.
Mengal said that his party colleagues had attended the APC chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Quetta. However, the prime minister had not kept his promise, he said.
“China has announced to invest $46 billion but the Pakistan government is yet to share details of the investment and where they are going to invest it,” Mengal said.
”We are told that around $6 billion will be spent on infrastructure and development while $40 billion will be in the form of private investment. However, we were neither given details about these investments, nor were we told where they are developing economic or industrial zones,” the BNP president said.
Akhtar Mengal said it was beyond everyone’s comprehension why agreements and MoUs involving the people of Balochistan were being hidden from the people of Balochistan, who ultimately were also the owners of the land and the coast.
“People should be told each and every thing. People think that Balochistan is a part of Pakistan and not a colony. Government has to take all the decisions while taking the people of the country into confidence. It has saddened us that the opinions of the local leaders and people were brushed aside by the PML-N central leadership.”