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HomeNewsIndia concerned with ‘unwarranted references’ to J&K in Pak-China statement

India concerned with ‘unwarranted references’ to J&K in Pak-China statement

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India has been apprehensive of China and Pakistan using the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and has recently expressed their concern over the same. India has stated that the connectivity project goes through Indian territory and therefore amounts to ‘forcible occupation’. 

According to a report on Hindustan Times, External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a weekly news briefing that the China-Pakistan joint statement, that was released on Wednesday, had “several unwarranted references to the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir”. Bagchi further mentioned that there were also references to projects under CPEC and the extension of the project to third countries.

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is visiting China. The Prime Minister is visiting Beijing for the first time since he took charge in April this year, after the ouster of PTI leader and former PM Imran Khan. 

This is also his first visit since Chinese President Xi Jinping recently secured an unprecedented third term in office.

In the statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs in India, they have expressed concern with the fact that there are several ‘unwarranted references’ to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the joint statement issued by China and Pakistan on 2 November. 

During Sharif’s visit, China and Pakistan agreed to speed up work on various components of CPEC and to “counter all threats and designs” against the project. They invited third parties to invest in CPEC and agreed to extend the project to Afghanistan, according to the joint statement, according to the report by Hindustan Times

Arindam Bagchi with regard to the CPEC mentioned, “CPEC includes projects on the sovereign territory of India under forcible and illegal external occupation. We resolutely reject any attempts to utilise such projects to change the status quo in this area,” .

“Any attempts to involve third parties in such activities are inherently illegal, illegitimate and unacceptable and will be treated as such by us,” he added.

Bagchi said India has consistently rejected such statements and “all parties concerned are well aware of our clear position on these matters”. 

Bagchi with regard to the reference to Jammu and Kashmir said that the union territories “are and always will be integral and inalienable parts of India” and no country has “locus standi to comment on the same”.

CPEC is a flagship project under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and it will complete a decade in 2023. India has consistently opposed CPEC as a key part of its network of highways, railway lines and energy projects passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Hindustan Times further reported that the China-Pakistan joint statement said the Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. The two countries emphasised the importance of resolving all outstanding disputes and the Chinese side reiterated the “Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history that should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements”.

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