Pakistan, China snub US objection over CPEC project

Published: October 7, 2017
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have strongly dismissed a statement from the American defence chief that the multibillion-dollar road and rail network, which is part of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, passes through a disputed territory.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis, who was testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, apparently tried to appease India, which has long claimed that Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan is part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state.

“The ‘One Belt, One Road’ also goes through [a] disputed territory, and I think that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate,” said Sec­retary Mattis appeared before the committee along with Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Joseph Dun­­­ford earlier this week to give a briefing on the situation in the Pak-Afghan region.

Secretary Mattis said the Trump administration oppo­sed the OBOR policy in principle because in a globalised world, there were many belts and many roads, and no one nation shou­­ld put itself into a position of dictating OBOR. And it opposed the one going through Pakistan also because it passed throu­­gh a disputed territory.

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Responding to Mattis’ statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Friday urged the international community to focus on blatant human rights violations and ‘heinous crimes’ committed by Indian occupation forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

“As for the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, efforts need to be made to implement the UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir that call for a UN-supervised plebiscite to enable Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination,” it added.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, who chairs the CPEC Parliamentary Committee, also rejected the American objections over OBOR in a series of tweets.

He reminded the US that Washington had also participated in an OBOR summit. He also told the US administration that former president Barack Obama had opposed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank but failed and more of this ‘short-nearsightedness’ will result in failure too.

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“Following the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, US contractors had built Mangla Dam in Azad Kashmir. Why was there no reference to a ‘disputed territory’ back then,” he asked.

Earlier in the day, the Chinese foreign ministry also dismissed Mattis’ statement, saying that the OBOR initiative was backed by the United Nations and that CPEC was an economic cooperation initiative.

“We have repeatedly reiterated that CPEC … is not directed against third parties and has nothing to do with territorial sovereignty disputes and does not affect China’s principled stance on the Kashmir issue,” the statement said.

It said over 70 countries and international organisations, which have signed cooperation agreements with China on OBOR – including the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council – have also incorporated it in their important resolutions.

“Over 130 countries and more than 70 international organisations sent representatives to attend the international cooperation summit – ‘Belt and Road Forum’ – organised by China in May and spoke highly of the initiative,” it said.

“This fully explains that the OBOR initiative is in line with the trend of the times and conforms to the rules of development and is in line with the interests of the people of all countries and has broad and bright prospects for development,” it added.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Saeed Masood
    Oct 7, 2017 - 7:25PM

    The whole world is jealous of CPEC America, India, and even our friends Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, non of hem want to see Pakistan prosper it is a height of jealousy.Recommend

  • Sajid
    Oct 7, 2017 - 7:25PM

    All I can Say is Cry! and keep Crying The USA and her unwanted baby INDIA! Recommend

  • Fari
    Oct 7, 2017 - 8:30PM

    Iran and Saudi and UK all want to be in Cpec Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Oct 7, 2017 - 9:09PM

    As I have said it many times, CPEC is China’s military project and not a commercial project. China wants to encircle India by making Gwadar its naval base and also wants to challenge US fleet and forces that are stationed in the region. China is bringing its submarines to Gwadar. China and Pakistan want the world to believe that China will be transporting goods by submarines.

    Not just India and USA, but even EU is against CPEC now. 2 -3 moths ago, the Vice President of EU said that China promoted OBOR /CPEC as a win win-win for all but it turns out that it will benefit China only and not others.

    Pakistan made a huge mistake by giving away Gwadar to China. Pakistan made this mistake because it factored in only India in its decisions. It thought that by giving away Gwadar to China it will facilitate China encircling India. It did not take into consideration how it will affect US interests in the region. Similarly, China made a huge mistake by infiltrating in Doklam. It only unified entire India against China and also brought USA,Japan and India even closer. Ultimately China had to back off. Recommend

  • RA
    Oct 7, 2017 - 9:46PM

    It is okay for India to kill thousands in Indian Occupied Kashmir, but not okay for Pakistan to build and develop Azad Kashmir? If China wants to help, so be it. Shame on you Mattis, and keep your dirty nose out of Pakistan’s business! Get busy building your Mexican border wall and get Mexico to pay for it. Good luck, bullies!Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Oct 7, 2017 - 9:57PM

    @Fari:
    You are claiming that Iran and Saudi want to be in CPEC.

    If CPEC is purely a commercial project, everyone, including India will support it. However, CPEC is China’s military project that will bring China’s naval fleet in Gwadar. Saudi, UAE, Iran and all others in the region will not like China bringing in its naval fleet in the region. Had Pakistan not give control of Gwadar to China, it would have been different. But, that would not have been acceptable to China and China would not have invested a penny in CPEC if it did not give it complete control of Gwadar. Recommend

  • Prada
    Oct 8, 2017 - 8:03AM

    If China wants to take the risk she is welcome to. China cannot expect other nations to respect her territorial claims either.Recommend

  • Engr mahmood abbasi
    Oct 9, 2017 - 7:08AM

    We expect relationship between two nations and two countries with Bilateral respect.
    It should not be between rulers and personalitiesRecommend

  • Selma Hyat
    Oct 10, 2017 - 4:51AM

    Jerusalem is also disputed territory should the US decide to recognize it as Israel’s capital.Recommend

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