Dismissing India’s objections to the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passing through PoK, Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said such protests amount to “intervention” in his country’s internal affairs. “India’s reaction is unnecessary. I would say it’s an intervention in our internal affairs. We have tried to promote connectivity and reach out to all the neighbouring countries,” Dar told state-run Chinese daily Global Times.
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“We believe countries including Afghanistan and India could also benefit from the economic corridor,” he said. Dar said India’s reaction is surprising. “Indian leaders and the parliament reacted sharply to the projects, but they should see the projects positively. It’s good for India also. Greater regional connectivity and the Corridor will utterly benefit the whole region including India. It’s an immature comment to say the project is unacceptable,” he said.
India has conveyed its objections to Beijing over the project which links China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s Gwadar port through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Pakistan says it is a commercial project aimed at improving the livelihood of people. On China’s concerns over terrorism affecting the project in Pakistan, Dar said his government was trying to contain it through military operations against the militant groups in the tribal regions and by improving economy.
“Eradicating extremism and terrorism is one of our priorities. The present government has formulated the National Action Plan (NAP) with the consensus of other political parties to root out terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” he said. “The Pakistani government is determined to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals deployed on each and every project. We intend to provide full security to all of the economic corridor’s projects,” he said.