India intensifies anti CPEC lobbying in Europe
Brussels [Belgium]: Europe's pro India strategists have said that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC is violating the human rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, a disputed territory over which the highway passes, and its construction is causing immense ecological damage to the region.
Willem Oosterveld, a strategic analyst at the Brussels-based Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, said, "There are certain international legal provisions for when you can or cannot build in occupied territory. But this as a case is not easy to compare with say Israeli settlements in Palestine," adding that the CPEC does not conform to international law.
Rights activists across Europe have roundly condemned the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is being ruthlessly implemented against the will of the local population of Gilgit.
Claudia Wadlich Heidelberg, a German activist and writer said, "China uses the OBOR (One Belt One Road) - economy to conquer strategic positions through Asia till Africa and Europe to gain world power. Democratic intentions and free world trade are not their goals."
Dr. Siegfried O. Wolf, Director of Research at the South Asia Democratic Forum, another Brussels-based think tank, said, "Concretely, it is not enough that Pakistan fights militant groups turning against the Pakistani state (institutions and agents), but the country must also stop its support for Pakistan-based cross-border terrorists operating in India and Afghanistan."
They highlighted the fact that the implementation of the multi-billion dollar project is being enforced violently, leading to large scale and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the Pakistan Army.
Experts believe that the Pakistani Army was engaged in the forceful evacuation of people from their traditional homesteads and farmlands in several areas of Gilgit Baltistan and Balochistan so as to make land available for the CPEC.
Recently, United States Defense Secretary James Mattis had also questioned the legality of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it passed over the disputed territory of Gilgit-Blatistan (GB).
The CPEC project comprises a network of railways, roads and pipelines that would connect Pakistan's port city of Gwadar in Balochistan with the Chinese city of Kashgar in the landlocked Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.