ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has severely criticised India for opposing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
“India’s reaction and outburst on the CPEC project has exposed its real face before the world. It’s a clear proof that the current Indian leadership is not happy to see Pakistan prosper and finds our progress and development unacceptable,” he said in a statement issued here on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been quoted by an Indian minister as telling the Chinese leadership that the CPEC was unacceptable to India because it would pass through Kashmir.
Chaudhry Nisar also referred to Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement that terrorists had to be neutralised only through terrorists and termed it an open admission that the neighbour was pursuing the policy of state-sponsored terrorism.
“Coupled with the recent statement of the defence minister of India which blatantly and unashamedly accepted responsibility for terrorism in Pakistan, this recent statement of intent by the Indian prime minister clearly shows India’s intentions not only to destabilise and hegemonise Pakistan but also to use any means at its disposal to keep Pakistan backward and underdeveloped,” he said.
The interior minister said the statement should serve as an eye-opener for all those world powers which never tired praising India for its democratic credentials. “Let the Indian leadership hear loud and clear that Pakistan’s quest for peace must not be misconstrued for weakness,” he added.
He said the people of Pakistan and the entire political and military leadership were united to fight, frustrate and defeat all themes of terrorism from wherever they were generated. “The country is all united as one to carry forward the CPEC to its logical conclusion irrespective of all scheming and conspiracies of our enemies.”
Chaudhry Nisar said the CPEC was a manifestation of the commitment of the leadership of China and Pakistan to work together for the mutual benefit of their people and peace, prosperity and socio-economic betterment of the region.
He said the opposition to the project was in fact opposition to brighter future of the region which would be confronted with iron will and traditional bonds of friendship, trust and commonality of interest being enjoyed by the people of Pakistan and China.
Instead of raising unnecessary and uncalled for objections to this vital project, he said, the Indian leadership should focus on ameliorating the plight of their own people and extricating them from generational traps of abject poverty, hunger, disease and socio-economic backwardness.
APP adds: Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said the criticism and concern expressed by India over the CPEC project was not acceptable. He said the project was all about regional connectivity and economic development and prosperity of the common people of the entire region.
Mr Aziz said there was a dichotomy in the Indian statements on their pronouncements on the importance of the regional connectivity for development and their negative comments about the CPEC. He said Pakistan maintained a policy of non-interference in other countries’ bilateral relations and expected the same from others.
He said the Chinese foreign ministry had already stated that the CPEC “is a major cooperation framework between the two countries and is not against any third party”.
The adviser said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s vision envisaged improved relations with all neighbours, including India. The primary objective of this vision was economic development of the region, he added.
He said Pakistan’s policy all along had been that all outstanding disputes, particularly Jammu and Kashmir, should be resolved through dialogue. Pakistan has conveyed to India that it remained committed to dialogue provided India was ready.
“Pakistan believes in a sustained, comprehensive and result-oriented dialogue. It also believes that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are important stakeholders in the final resolution of the Kashmir dispute since they have yet to exercise their right to self-determination as enshrined in numerous UN resolutions,” he said.
Referring to the ‘principle’ of creating an atmosphere of harmony, free of terror and violence, Mr Aziz said peace was a multi-dimensional process.
“When India keeps violating ceasefire on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, indulges in worst human rights violations against the helpless people in India-held Kashmir and undertakes subversive activities in Pakistan, then asking Pakistan to create an environment free of violence only sounds ironical,” he said.
Referring to the Indian defence minister’s statement, he said it confirmed Islamabad’s apprehensions regarding India’s involvement in terrorism in Pakistan. He said Pakistan was most affected by terrorism and had sacrificed thousands of lives in its counter-terrorism efforts.
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2015