Inclusion of five districts in CPEC demanded

Kohat: Senior members of Jamaat-i-Islami’s southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa council and Kohat Chamber of Commerce and Industries have demanded of the government to include the region’s five districts and a tribal tehsil in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

JI leader Abid Khan, former MPA Dr Iqbal Fana and former KCCI president Haji Rasheed Paracha said that after the merger the number of districts of Kohat division had increased from three to five. He said that the people of the area lacked even basic amenities of life.

They asked for a four-lane motorway between Kohat and Peshawar and a second tunnel as the present one constructed in 2003 had become overloaded.

They said that the Kohat division was rich in oil and gas, coal, gems and minerals, but its people still faced problems in every sector.

They urged the federal and provincial governments to convert the Kohat- Rawalpindi and Peshawar-DI Khan roads into motorways.

They said that the Kohat-Rawalpindi road was presently in a bad shape and the people had to first go to Peshawar and then Rawalpindi, which took them two additional hours.

Similarly, industrial and economic zones should also be established to end unemployment. They also demanded mega projects like establishment of oil refineries as huge reserves had been discovered in Kohat, Karak and Hangu and surveys had shown more reserves in Orakzai.

They recalled that the government had announced in 2018 Rs125 billion for the merged districts every year, but so far not a penny had been released.

He said that Rs100 billion was from the grant and Rs25 billion was to be spent from the National Finance Commission award.

They warned that if their demands were not accepted they would stage protests in front of the National Assembly and KP Assembly buildings.