ISLAMABAD: The government announced on Tuesday the appointment of retired Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa as president of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (CPECA) amid criticism from the opposition to the formation of the authority.
According to a notification issued by the Establishments Division, the competent authority appointed retired lieutenant Gen Bajwa as president of the CPECA, which depends on the ministry of planning and development. "The new president will obtain the MP-I scale for a period of four years from the date of assuming office immediately with effect and until further orders," he said.
Retired Lieutenant General Bajwa had served as Commander of the Southern Command before his retirement. He remained as general director of Public Relations between Services from 2012 to 2016.
The government had established CPECA through an ordinance in October, before the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing. The basic objective of forming the authority is to ensure the timely completion of CPEC projects. The prime minister said that CPECA will help ensure coordination between the departments concerned.
The head of JUI-F says that the opposition will oppose authority in all available forums
According to reports, the authority has been granted extensive powers to convene any information related to the activities of the CPEC and impose sanctions on those who do not.
Opposition parties, including the Pakistan-Nawaz Muslim League and the Pakistan People's Party, have already rejected CPECA and called it a violation of the recommendations of the corresponding parliamentary commission.
While the PPP criticized the creation of CPECA and said it undermined the authority of parliament, the PML-N believed that it would create problems and complications in collaboration between ministries and departments. They claimed that this would create bureaucratic obstacles and constraints that would hamper and stop CPEC.
On Tuesday, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman also criticized the formation of CPECA and said the government was making the corridor project controversial.
Speaking at a press conference after a multi-party conference, he said there was no need to establish a separate authority for the CPEC project, adding that he denied the decision of the parliamentary committee against that body. He said the opposition would oppose authority in all available forums.
Published on Dawn, November 27, 2019