CPEC Progresses Despite Indian Intervention By Sultan M Hali
NOTWITHSTANDING the attempts at denigration and spreading of fake news regarding the mega venture, the progress on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, continues smoothly.
Yet, India, which leaves no stone unturned to challenge Pakistan and put impediments in its development projects, has once again made a ridiculous claim directed at CPEC.
On July 26, 2022, Official Spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Arindam Bagchi issued a statement objecting to the participation of third countries in CPEC projects. He claimed that such actions directly infringe on India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He went on to stress that “India firmly and consistently opposes projects in the so-called CPEC, which are in Indian Territory that has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. Such activities are inherently illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable, and will be treated accordingly by India.”
The last part of the statement “will be treated accordingly by India” implies a threat, which is in keeping with Indian belligerence and sabre rattling over trumped-up charges.
The vitriolic outburst from India was with reference to the July 21, third meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on International Cooperation and Coordination under the CPEC held via video link.
The meeting was co-chaired by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, in which both sides agreed to well grasp the general direction of the development of the CPEC, properly cope with risks and challenges to accumulate positive energy for, inject new impetus into, and provide a strong guarantee for the development of the CPEC.
At the end of the meeting, Pakistan’s Foreign Office issued a statement that said, “As an open and inclusive platform, both sides welcomed interested third countries to benefit from avenues for mutually beneficial cooperation opened up by CPEC.”
It was natural for both the Pakistani and Chinese Foreign Office Spokespersons to firmly rubbish the Indian MEA’s slanders hurled on CPEC.
Pakistan categorically rejected the remarks made by the official spokesperson of the Indian MEA on CPEC as “baseless and misguided”, calling it an effort to politicise the project.
The Foreign Office spokesperson, in a statement, said CPEC was a transformational project and a harbinger of stability, mutual cooperation and shared development for the region.
He went on to add that as a flagship of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and hallmark of the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership, CPEC provides a vehicle for the people of the region to break from zero-sum approaches.
It is a hard fact that China’s investment in CPEC has helped Pakistan overcome the energy and infrastructural bottlenecks that once constrained growth and development.
The attempts to cast aspersions over CPEC demonstrate India’s insecurity as well as the pursuit of a hegemonic agenda that has held back socio-economic development in South Asia for decades.
Islamabad rejects India’s fallacious assertion that CPEC impinges on its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” because in reality, it is in fact India that is illegally occupying the state of Jammu and Kashmir for over seven decades while perpetrating gross and widespread human rights violations and effectuating blatant territorial and demographic changes in the occupied territory in complete contravention of international law and relevant UNSC resolutions.
The saddest aspect of the gory drama is that India has made the life of Kashmiris in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), miserable, has tyrannized the residents with extra-judicial killing, rape and incarceration.
On the other hand, CPEC is a development project, which will bring prosperity to the residents of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. India’s attempts to mislead the international community about the status of Jammu and Kashmir and to hide its atrocities against the Kashmiri will not succeed.
Zhao Lijian, the Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry echoed similar commitments in his regular briefing.
Referring to the third meeting of the JWG on International Cooperation and Coordination under CPEC, he resolutely stated that both sides exchanged views and reached common understandings on the participation of third parties in CPEC and exchanges among media and think tanks, including promoting cooperation schemes involving third parties in line with existing consensus and extending CPEC projects to Afghanistan.
The two sides also agreed to continue to deepen media cooperation and do a good job in telling “CPEC stories”, and innovate and expand cooperation among think tanks to provide more public support and insights for the development of CPEC.
The Chinese FO Spokesperson affirmed that China stands ready to work with Pakistan to follow through on the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and push forward all CPEC projects in a safe, smooth and high-quality manner to better benefit the two countries and two peoples.
The Indian spokesperson’s contentions about Jammu and Kashmir being the so-called “integral and inalienable part” of India and an “internal affair” are a laughable fiction, totally contrary to historical and legal facts and in violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
India’s self-serving claims regarding Jammu and Kashmir, including the parts which are under illegal Indian occupation, have no basis whatsoever. India has no locus standi on the issue – historical, legal or moral.
The regurgitation of false claims by India can neither change facts nor divert attention from its state-terrorism in the IIOJK and its egregious violations of human rights of Kashmiri people.
CPEC is the principal pivot of Sino-Pak ties and the flagship project of BRI. Numerous detractors have tried to disparage the mega-venture, to which over a hundred nations around the globe are signatories.
CPEC, despite its name, is not confined to China and Pakistan alone but is meant to provide development and prosperity to the entire region.
Because of its myopic tunnel vision, India tries to impede CPEC, by sending saboteurs like senior RAW operative Kulbhoshan Jadhav in the province of Balochistan and spread falsehood through its equally acerbic media instead of examining the prospects of joining BRI, which can usher relief to its teeming hungry millions. CPEC, on the other hand, will progress despite Indian intervention and machinations.
CPEC Progresses Despite Indian Intervention By Sultan M Hali