Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pak-Tajikistan Road: Change in plan draws severe criticism in G-B

The federal government’s decision to route the Pakistan-Tajkistan Road through Chitral instead of Gilgit has drawn strong criticism from politicians in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).

Some of them have termed the project a “ploy to keep G-B a backward area”, while others have called on the government to review its decision.

“For all reasons, the road to Tajikistan should go through Gilgit and not Chitral,” Finance Minister Mohammad Ali Akhtar G-B told media here in Gilgit on Saturday. Akhtar said that the cabinet would immediately contact the federal government in this regard and put up resistance to the decision of constructing the Chitral-Tajikistan Road to further trade ties between two countries. He said that the route should go through Gilgit instead of Chitral, to boost the region’s economy.

PML-N G-B President Hafizur Rehman said it is total injustice to the region and K-P has only been given favour because of their representation in the national assembly and the senate.

“The Chief Minister and Governor should protest over the decision with the federal government which is an injustice to the people of G-B,” said advisor to Prime Minister Wazir Ibadat in a statement.

He said the previous government had decided to link G-B with Tajkistan via the Ashkoman Valley but now the decision was being reviewed. Urging the G-B leadership to devise a strategy Wazir said, “It is a conspiracy against our region so that it remains backward.”

According to officials, the road from Ashkomen Valley to Tajkistan was surveyed during the Musharraf regime. The local politicians of G-B called on to the federal government to review its decision of constructing the road from Chitral.

They are of the view that the government should adhere to the original plan according to which the route has to be made from the Ashkoman valley of District Ghizer to Tajikistan. Express Tribune

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