“Gwadar is the second largest deep-sea port in Asia. Some countries were feeling a threat from Gwadar. It would have been the most useful port for trade. The PTI inflicted serious damages on the project,” said Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Rehman.
Rehman alleged that the money that was provided to Abraaj Group consisted of a huge sum from a Gulf state in an attempt to sink the Gwadar Port project.
The statement comes after a recent report revealed how the PTI accrued funds through cricket matches organised under Wootton Cricket Ltd, a company owned by Abraaj Group.
“Now we can see that the depth of the sea has reduced to just 11 feet,” he said.
The JUIF chief also said that the government led by PTI pushed the country to a quagmire, local media reported.
“They have made such agreements that I can show you the statements of responsible people of the PTI, who said that they have sold out the country,” he said.
Rehman also said, “Had we not taken the government and ousted PTI from the power corridors, the country would have split into pieces.”
In 2015, China announced the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project in Pakistan worth USD 46 billion, of which Balochistan is an integral part.
It would link Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port in Balochistan on the Arabian Sea to China’s western Xinjiang region. It also includes plans to create road, rail and oil pipeline links to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East.
The Baloch have opposed China’s increasing involvement in the province. The CPEC has not benefited the people of Balochistan while people of other provinces enjoy the fruits of the mega project.
Media reports said that Beijing has been using the CPEC to gain control of the Gwadar port and the region of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Under the banner of CPEC, Pakistan and China are initiating work on mega-dams, oil and gas pipelines, and uranium and heavy metal extraction in Gilgit-Baltistan.
CPEC has been a major cause of militancy and even terror attacks and a sore point with local populations from Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north to Sindh and Balochistan in the south, who feel neglected and marginalised, while their resources get transferred to Punjab and big cities and now to China.
Even Islamabad is facing rising unrest and protests from locals in Balochistan, Gwadar and other areas as they accuse the government of depriving them of basic amenities and rights.