Days after reports in foreign media suggested that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had military dimensions, apart from the economic aspect, Pakistan on Friday clarified that the economic corridor between the two countries had no military connection.
According to a report in Pakistan-based Dawn News, the military dimension reports were rubbished by Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal during his last press briefing of the calendar year.
When asked about the reports, Faisal reiterated that CPEC was just a bilateral economic project, which was not aimed against any third country. He added that CPEC had benefitted the economy of the country significantly.
In August when Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf formed the government in the country, reports had said that the new administration would review the agreements with China under the CPEC. A top official of the Pakistan government had told UK-based Financial Times that the agreement of the project gave “undue advantage” to Chinese companies.
According to reports, Imran Khan had constituted a nine-members committee to analyse the $62 billion project. However, later during his maiden official visit to China, Khan had lauded CPEC and its impact on Pakistan’s economy.
In November, China and Pakistan launched a new bus service between the two countries as part of the CPEC project. Strong objection was raised by India over the same, which alleged that the bus service was a “violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
The protest was, however, dismissed by both China and Pakistan vehemently, with the latter claiming that “entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang also brushed aside India's objection, saying, “CPEC is an economic cooperation initiative which targets no third country”. He had further said that India’s objection would not change China’s position on the Kashmir issue.
The bus service was launched between Lahore in Pakistan and Kashgar in China via Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on November 13.