Mounting Indian threats to CPEC

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is part of a broader Chinese project, the One Belt One Road (OBOR) program, which aims to reconstitute and expand the ancient Silk Road. The Chinese investment in the project is about USD50 billion and will produce a 2.5 percent increase in the Gross Domestic Product of Pakistan as well as creating thousands of jobs. For the antagonists and those ideologically opposed to CPEC, the situation is downright depressing and is causing great distress. The Indian war against CPEC goes on.

DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar recently revealed that for sabotaging CPEC, India had raised a militia of 700 militants to conduct terror activities in Balochistan. “A commission comprising 24 members was created which included 10 RAW operatives. $60 million dollars were dedicated for this force.” He added that the Indian mission in Afghanistan has paid handsome amounts to sub-nationalists under the garb of humanitarian assistance and projects.

Foreign Minister Qureshi elaborated that New Delhi had distributed Rs22 billion for promoting and carrying out terror activities in Pakistan. “India is sabotaging CPEC as they know the project’s success can be an economic game changer for Pakistan.” He further said New Delhi has established a cell in their intelligence agency with the sole objective of disrupting CPEC projects. “The cell works under the supervision of the Indian prime minister and its mandate is to disrupt CPEC projects. A sum of Rs80 billion has been allocated for this purpose.” He said that Pakistan was prepared and had established and deployed two security divisions to safeguard the projects and the personnel working on them.

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According to Raffaello Pantucci, a senior associate fellow at London’s Royal United Services Institute: “There is an elevated sense of concern at the moment around the fact that China-India tensions have become so bad, and this might lead to the Indians providing more discreet support for Baluchi groups, which is something that they have done in the past.” This is an admission of Indian terrorist activities in Pakistan at the international level.

The Indian propaganda claims that locals are not only hired just for low-level jobs but paid much less than their Chinese counterparts. And the roads built within CPEC or OBOR projects would be closely followed by Chinese military bases. Indian objections to Gilgit-Baltistan being part of CPEC are not substantive as the region has been firmly under the control of Pakistan for the last 72 years and also the Karakoram Highway, which connects Pakistan with China, passes through the same region. New Delhi also claims China’s maritime presence in Gwadar can hurt India’s energy and economic security.

Nevertheless, PM Imran Khan has declared his government would complete the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at any cost, as the project is a manifestation of the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan. He was speaking at the launching of the construction of a mega-city in Rashakai, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

The city, built under the CPEC, will have apartments, theme parks, a golf course, commercial zones and public buildings. Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman recently said any attempt to sabotage the CPEC flagship project would not succeed and both China and Pakistan, with the support of international community, could work together to ensure its success.

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“I have already made my response to this issue. No attempt to sabotage the CPEC will succeed,” Zhao Lijian made these remarks during a briefing while answering a question about Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar’s joint briefing during which they held India responsible for supporting terrorist forces and sabotaging CPEC.

He reiterated that CPEC was an important and pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative and it was not only important for common development of the two countries, but also for regional connectivity and prosperity.

“We are confident that with the support of the international community, China and Pakistan can work together to ensure the success of the CPEC,” he said. Commending Pakistan for its positive contribution to global counterterrorism cause, he said China firmly supported Pakistan’s efforts towards counterterrorism, safeguarding its territory and regional peace and security.

Overall, the CPEC project will bring prosperity and connectivity, thus reducing space for terrorists for operating in the region. As a socio-economic project, it will provide for the uplift of people in the least developed areas of Balochistan, Sindh, GB and KP. The project will engage youth in jobs and will reduce their vulnerability and exposure to extremist teaching and elements. Also, through connectivity, there would be better prospects for exploration of natural resources as well as their use for economic uplift of the concerned area. CPEC, also a windfall opportunity for Pakistan’s largely ignored maritime sector, is a cohesive project, a game changer for the region. It is more or less on the ground and will only accelerate in the times to come.

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Source: The News  https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/748473-mounting-indian-threats-to-cpec

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