US shouldn’t look at CPEC from In­dia’s out­look: Pak

Pak­istani min­is­ter says Wash­ing­ton’s un­bi­ased at­ti­tude will ben­e­fit all sides

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

Dis­miss­ing the US’ con­cern over the Chi­naPak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor, Pak­istan’s In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ah­san Iqbal has said that Wash­ing­ton should not look at the multi-bil­lion dol­lar project from In­dia’s per­spec­tive as it would pro­vide a plat­form that would ben­e­fit all.

The CPEC will pro­vide a plat­form for bring­ing to­gether South and Cen­tral Asian, Mid­dle Eastern and African coun­tries by phys­i­cally join­ing them through an eco­nomic cor­ri­dor, Dawn News quoted Iqbal as say­ing.

The $ 50 bil­lion CPEC passes through Pak­istan-oc­cu­pied Kash­mir (PoK), over which In­dia has con­veyed its protests to China. The area cov­ers Karako­ram moun­tain ranges, in­clud­ing the Si­achen glacier. In­dia has been se­verely crit­i­cal of the CPEC, say­ing the project vi­o­lates its sovereignty as it runs through PoK.

Iqbal, who was the key­note speaker at Johns Hop­kins School of Ad­vanced In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies here, urged the US 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 eco- nomic pros­per­ity, which is bring­ing in­vest­ment in the en­ergy, in­fra­struc­ture and other key sec­tors,” said Iqbal when re­minded of US ob­jec­tions to the plan to build a cor­ri­dor. De­fence Sec­re­tary James Mat­tis last week said CPEC passes through dis­puted ter­ri­tory and the US could not ig­nore this fact.

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