Indian concerns about CPEC are against regional development

The news of Indian objections on Pakistan China Economic Corridor is disappointing for the people in the Pakistan who support the idea of giving transit trade facility to India via Pakistan to Afghanistan and beyond as well as giving India status of MFN – Most Favoured Nation.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swarajhas revealed that Indian PM Modi has complained against this corridor in his visit to China. India claims that corridor is passing through the Pakistan occupied disputed area of Kashmir which is unacceptable to India. This type of Indian attitude testify Pakistan’s claim that Kashmir is the core issue between Pakistan and India, which is always given less importance by India and consider Kashmir as integral part of it.

It is not for the first time that India has raised objection on investment in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. In October 2014 India asked the United States not to invest in the Diamer-Bhasha dam project which was being built on a territory disputed between India and Pakistan. The World Bank had earlier rejected Pakistan’s proposal for financing the project.

This kind of Indian attitude is against the former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh statement of 2011“India would like to see a strong, stable and prosperous Pakistan” when Pakistani parliamentary delegation met with him.

The tangle over Kashmir has brought Pakistan and India to brink of war many times. The recent Indian concerns reflect the decades old enmity of India and Pakistan over Kashmir. This tussle has always created only tension between India and Pakistan and this time too it is the Kashmir issue which compelled India to raise question about the passage of the corridor.

On the other side India is desperately in need of passage through Pakistan to Afghanistan and beyond. Only a month ago President of Afghanistan Asharaf Ghani expressed his concerns about the imports of Afghanistan from India and the restrictions of Pakistani government. Indian opposition of the Pak-China Corridor project will complicate this demand of transit trade facility to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. As a reaction Pakistan has also raised objections about the Indian Civil Nuclear deal with USA.

Indian cooperation in Pak. China Corridor will surely pave way for Indian wish to have a safe way to Afghanistan and beyond and TAPI gas pipeline. Only stable and prosperous Pakistan can provide safe passage to India to extend its trade to Afghanistan and Central Asian Countries. The network of international roads will enable Pakistan to fight against the menace of militancy which is not only a threat to Pakistan but its neighbours too.

In the future only those powers will rule the world which will transfer investment and technology to other nations. Today China is blessed with investment and technology and luckily China is ready to invest in the neighborhood too. Creating hurdles for Chinese initiative to invest in the neighborhood is not in the best interest of the region. This type of Indian attitude is in no way encouraging for the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank of which India is a prospective founding member.

It is certain that AIIB will shift the inclination of global power to Asia and India will also get benefited from that move therefore Indian openheartedness towards economic corridors and infrastructure development in Asia will open new economic horizons for India too.

Instead of conveying its concerns to China about the passage of corridor through Kashmir and dubbing it ‘unacceptable’, India could negotiate with China to convince its time tested friend Pakistan to accept Indian and Afghan demand of passage through Pakistan and it would be better that at this moment the Asian countries should make rules for the passage of international corridors as in the future Asia could become the hub of international routes and business.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Lahore Times.

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