Pakistan asks India to shun fears of CPEC

Pakistan asks India to shun fears of CPEC
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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked India to shun fears of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC project.

Stressing the need for strengthening regional cooperation, Islamabad added that India holds the key to peace in South Asia.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Thursday, Pakistan Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal said, “The CPEC would bring prosperity to the region, including China and Pakistan.

The minister's comments came nearly two weeks after Iran invited Pakistan to become a part of the Chabahar project.

Critising India for alleged “short-sighted approach”, Iqbal said, “CPEC is purely an economic development project that would bring prosperity. India should get benefit from the project rather than pursuing unnecessary criticism.”

“The CPEC would bring prosperity to the region, including China and Pakistan,” he added.

“Transport corridors help connect the countries and play a pivotal role in economic integration, trade development and regional connectivity across the globe,” he said.

India is opposed to CPEC as it passes through Azad Kashmir.

CPEC is a crucial part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Invitations from China and Pakistan to other countries in the neighbourhood to join CPEC .

Earlier in March, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, during a three-day visit to Pakistan, made a move to placate Pakistan's deep misgivings over India's long-standing involvement in the Chabahar Port project.

The Chabahar Port has given India access to Afghanistan and Central Asia. These were regions where it had become unviable for India to interact with since most connectivity options ran through Pakistan, with whom India has perpetually strained relations. In November 2017, India successfully delivered an aid shipment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

Foreign Policy