Don’t look at CPEC from In­dian persepect.

The Miracle - - Front Page - Source: dawn.com

WASH­ING­TON: In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ah­san Iqbal urged the United States on Wed­nes­day not to look at CPEC from the In­dian per­spec­tive as it was an eco­nomic plan for bring­ing peace and sta­bil­ity to South Asia and ad­ja­cent re­gions and not a se­cu­rity strat­egy. At a sep­a­rate meet­ing on Tues­day evening, Pak­istan’s am­bas­sador Aizaz Ah­mad Chaud­hary said that re­cent meet­ings between US and Pak­istani of­fi­cials have paved the way for the process to nor­malise re­la­tions between the two coun­tries. Mr Iqbal urged the United States to deal with Pak­istan on its own merit, in­stead of tag­ging it to other states and is­sues in the re­gion. “CPEC is not a con­spir­acy against any­one. It is not a se­cu­rity plan. It’s a plan for eco­nomic pros­per­ity, which is bring­ing in­vest­ment in the en­ergy, in­fra­struc­ture and other key sec­tors,” said Mr Iqbal when re­minded of US ob­jec­tions to the plan to build a cor­ri­dor. De­fence Sec­re­tary James Mat­tis last week said the CPEC passes through dis­puted ter­ri­tory and the United States could not ig­nore this fact. This was seen in Islamabad as a di­rect en­dorse­ment of In­dia’s po­si­tion on the project, which passes through Pak­istan’s north­ern ar­eas. In­dia in­sists that since the north­ern part of Pak­istan was once as­so­ci­ated with the for­mer Kash­mir state, it’s a dis­puted ter­ri­tory. Pak­istan re­jects the In­dian claim. How­ever, Mr Iqbal, who was the key­note speaker at Johns Hop­kins School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, Wash­ing­ton, said US con­cerns about CPEC were un­founded. “It will ben­e­fit all and will pro­vide a plat­form for bring­ing to­gether South and Cen­tral Asian, Mid­dle East­ern and African coun­tries by phys­i­cally join­ing them through an eco­nomic cor­ri­dor,” he said. “So, I think, the US should not look at CPEC from the In­dian per­spec­tive, but as a source for peace, sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity in the re­gion. CPEC can bring the much-needed sta­bil­ity to a re­gion that has suf­fered from war for the last sev­eral decades.”

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