ISLAMABAD: Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Parliamentary Committee, has strongly rejected US objections on China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’, in which CPEC is flagship project.
In response to US Defence Secretary James Mattis reservations over China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Mushahid Hussain in a series of tweets said, “US officially participated in ‘One Belt, One Road’ Summit in Beijing in May 2017 with delegation led by Special Assistant to President Donald Trump, now US Defence Secretary suddenly opposing it.”
Mushahid Hussain continued saying “US stand contradictory and baseless.”
He said Mattis opposing OBOR, in which CPEC is flagship project, ‘echoes Indian line’.
“Suddenly US, courtesy India, in silly/shortsighted U-turn, discovers ‘disputed territory’ in the context of OBOR, to justify opposing China,” he added.Briefing the US lawmakers on the current situation in the Pak-Afghan region earlier this week, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said:
“The One Belt, One Road also goes through disputed territory, and I think that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate.”
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through a disputed territory, the US administration informed Congress.
Earlier, this claim had been made by India with the view to thwart the multi-billion dollar project that will link Gwadar to China’s Xinjiang via vast network of highways and railways.
The mega development project passes through the northern areas, which India claims is part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir territory.
The US opposed the One Belt, One Road 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 One Belt, One Road. And it opposed the one going through Pakistan also because it passed through a disputed territory, Secretary Mattis said.
The US defence chief added that common grounds should be found with China to thwart terrorism.
The United States’ stance on CPEC could further strain relations between Pakistan and the US, especially after US President Donald Trump accused Pakistan of providing ‘safe harbour’ to terrorists in his August speech.