Nawaz Sharif says China has rejected India's objections over Pok economic corridor
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said China had "rejected" India's objection over an ambitious $46 billion Economic Corridor that passes through PoK, a day after Beijing asserted that the project will "not target any third party".
"I want to inform you that China has already rejected the objections," Sharif told an All Parties Conference in Quetta, which was called to discuss the law and order situation in the province after militants killed 22 passengers after kidnapping them from two buses last week in Mastung area of Balochistan.
The 3,000-km corridor running from Pakistan's southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea to China's western Xinjiang region, was launched in April during President Xi Jinping's visit to Islamabad despite India's strong objections.
Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told a news conference in New Delhi on Sunday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised the economic corridor during his visit to Beijing and told the Chinese leadership that it was "unacceptable". The Indian government also summoned the Chinese envoy to protest.
Sharif said some people wanted to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Pakistan PM said he was happy that all parties of Pakistan have agreed on the project. "I want to congratulate the Pakistani leadership for owning it."
A day after Swaraj's press conference in Delhi, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said in Beijing on Monday that the project was a major cooperation framework between all-weather allies China and Pakistan.
"Relevant cooperation carried by China in the relevant region will not target any third party and will not affect China's position on the relevant issue," Hua had said.
For his part, Prime Minister Sharif also condemned Mastung killing and said militancy will be eliminated.
"Enemies of Pakistan are hatching conspiracies to weaken our motherland since they cannot tolerate development and prosperity in the country," he said.
The corridor, which could eclipse US spending in Pakistan over the past decade, has worried India mostly because of the route passing through PoK.
There are also concerns about the strategic implications of the infrastructure created for the project in the Kashmir region being used for military purposes by China and Pakistan.