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Military demands independent body to regulate CPEC affairs

Military demands independent  body to regulate CPEC affairs

ISLAMABAD: The military establishment is pressing the government hard to set up an independent regulatory body to oversee all the affairs of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), it has been learnt reliably.
“There has been strong demand by military circles that an independent regulatory body be set up to handle affairs of the CPEC … they don’t want Planning Commission to play any role in this regard,” sources privy to the developments told this correspondent.
Sources said the military establishment wanted this billion-dollar project to be handled by an independent body to bring more transparency.
“If the government can make Benazir Income Support Program completely independent then what is the issue with the CPEC? It’s the biggest-ever national project not only for our economy but country’s defense,” the sources said.
They said that the military is quite confident that if China is supporting Pakistan for the completion of CPEC project, there is no need to worry from any regional player. “Some circles have expressed their reservations with the government at the highest level that Planning Commission cannot run or control such a mega project... they believe the implementation process is very much slow because of red-tapism,” sources said. In the recent past, sources maintained, the military establishment suggested the government to set up an independent body or an institution. “There is suggestion that an independent body be set up with equal participation of civil military representatives in the board. The prime minister should head the board so all matters could be taken care of in a proper way,” sources added.
It is learnt that the government has started considering the move seriously. The Planning Commission was of the view that a steering committee is enough to handle all the matters related to CPEC but military establishment in not in favor of it and has conveyed to the government that an independent body be set up that will operate without any kind of interference. “The body can be established through an act of parliament like ERRA was established after the earthquake,” they maintained.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a 46-billion-dollar national project consisting of loan, assistance and grant by the Chinese government. Both the government and military circles believe that the transparency must be ensured at all levels. Army’s special force would provide security to the landmark project and over 10, 000 army personnel have already been given special training in this regard. Army Chief General Raheel Sharif himself has declared CPEC a national project and reaffirmed on number of times that CPEC would be completed at all cost.

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