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“Not in favour of CPEC”: India reiterates its stance on PoJK

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal (Photo: YouTube/MinistryofExternalAffairs)

Reiterating India’s stance on Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal stated that the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh are integral part of India. He stated that India is not in favour of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as it goes against New Delhi’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

In response to a query on reports of increased cooperation between Pakistan and China during the weekly media briefing, Jaiswal stated, “On PoK, we are very consistent in our position. We want to tell you, the whole of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, the union territories, they are part of India, an integral part of India. They were an integral part of India. They are an integral part of India and they will remain an integral part of India.”

“Our position on CPEC also is well known to you. We are not in favour of it. We are against it. It goes against our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” he added.

Randhir Jaiswal’s statement comes after Pakistan and China agreed to advance their joint project CPEC and backed finalising the modalities for third-party participation.

In a joint press stakeout, Pakistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed satisfaction over the steady pace of CPEC and vowed to “further upgrade and expand this cooperation,” Pakistan-based Geo News reported.

The two leaders after co-chairing the fifth Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue, spoke about their in-depth discussion on the multiple facets of their bilateral relations including CPEC. Ishaq Dar and Wang Yi expressed commitment to continue extending support to each other on issues of core interest.

Dar said that Pakistan and China would pace up the implementation of the Main Line-1 railway line project, Gwadar Port development, realignment of Phase 2 of the Karakorum Highway, and strengthen cooperation in energy, agriculture, mining, minerals, information technology, and industry sectors, according to Geo News report.

He said, “As we embark on the second phase of CPEC, we look forward to developing corridors of growth, livelihood, innovation, green development, and inclusivity,” according to Geo News report.

Notably, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a USD 50 billion Pakistani component of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The 3,000 km Chinese infrastructure network project is under construction in Pakistan and aims to connect Pakistan’s Gwadar and Karachi ports to China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region by land.

Earlier in March, Baloch political activist informed the United Nations Human Rights Council about the ongoing human rights violations in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, especially the worsening situation since the CPEC project.

While making an intervention during the ongoing 52nd Session of the Council, Munir Mengal, the president of Baloch Voice Association, said, “The situation in Balochistan, Pakistan demands immediate attention due to the systematic abuse of human rights and the disregard for the basic freedoms and liberties of its people.”

He informed the Council that the human rights situation in Balochistan escalated after the construction of the multi-billion dollar CPEC project.

“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been a source of great concern for the Baloch people. This multi-billion-dollar project is seen as an attempt to eliminate the Baloch people from their land, loot their resources and suppress their voices. The Baloch people are facing mass displacement, enforced disappearances, and military operations, as they are being systematically neglected, suppressed, and oppressed,” said Munir Mengal.