Islamabad: Pakistan has criticised India for opposing its $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), media reports on Wednesday.
“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,” Dawn quoted Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan as saying in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Indian 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 Pakistan-held Kashmir.
Nisar Ali Khan said the CPEC was a manifestation of the commitment of the Pakistani and Chinese leadership to work together for the 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 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”.
Earlier, key advisor to the prime minister Sartaj Aziz said the criticism and concern expressed by India over the CPEC project was not acceptable. The project was all about regional connectivity and economic development and prosperity of the common people of the entire region, he said.
Aziz said there was a “dichotomy” in the Indian pronouncements on the importance of the regional connectivity for development and its 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 has already stated that the CPEC “is a major cooperation framework between the two countries and is not against any third party”.
Aziz said Nawaz Sharif envisaged improved relations with all neighbours, including India. The primary objective of this vision was economic development of the region, he added.