An article published in the Dawn revealing what it claimed to be the “original plan of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)” was based on the ‘obsolete’ and an outdated proposal from China Development Bank which dates back to 2015 and not the actual agreement between Pakistan and China, claimed Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary, Fawad Hassan Fawad.
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Claiming the documents have been released to the public for the first time, the daily said that it is the final agreement between Pakistan and China, and the plan revealed “what Chinese intentions and priorities are in Pakistan for the next decade and a half, details that have not been discussed in public thus far.”
Dawn report is based on dishonest reporting. It is based on an outdated proposal by China Development Bank while the actual agreement is a bilateral document which is yet to be signed by China, how can we make it public unilaterally without consulting our partner before it is even signed? – Ahsan Iqbal
The Principal Secretary of PM Nawaz Sharif, Fawad Hassan Fawad confided to this scribe that the documents on which Dawn’s story was based carry no relevance as they have been already rejected by the Pakistan government and numerous amendments have already been made to them.
“The document proposed by the China Development Bank dates back to 2015 and was later retracted by the Chinese government itself and has been subjected to amendments numerous times,” the secretary said adding that the document is under final consultations and will be made public once it is finalized after mutual consideration and consensus.
“China itself has given another updated version, the one published by dawn is obsolete and outdated,” the secretary vehemently refuted the document maintaining Pakistan and China, both have proposed several changes in it which are being pondered over.
‘Dishonest Reporting’ by Dawn
The Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Monday also refuted the article and termed it ‘Dawn Leaks II’ that seeks to malign the CPEC.
Talking to Daily Pakistan in China at OBOR Summit 2017, Mr Ahsan Iqbal said that Dawn report was based on dishonesty. Addressing the allegations of opacity, he said, “Dawn’s story is based on an outdated proposal by China Development Bank while the actual agreement is a bilateral document which is yet to be signed, how can we make it public unilaterally without consulting our partner before it is even signed? We will even publish it on our website, but first it needs to be signed both by Pakistan and China. The document that Dawn claims is current is actually one and a half year old and was actually a proposal presented by China Development Bank – not the actual agreement, there have been so many changes since then.”
“I am appalled by Dawn Leak II. CPEC long-term plan story based on working documents to distort final draft taken up with NDRC yesterday in Beijing,” the planning minister tweeted.
He further mentioned that the long-term plan could not have been disclosed by Pakistani government without consulting the Chinese. He called the Dawn story “half cooked” in a race to break the news first.
“Definite angling in story to malign CPEC by promoting fears,” he added.