India takes jibe at CPEC, says don’t infringe sovereignty

Krishnanand Tripathi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering his address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit (SCO) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering his address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit (SCO) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday.

India Friday raised the thorny issue of the controversial multi-billion dollar mega road project to be built between China and Pakistan at a meeting of the top leaders of members of Shanghai Cooperation Summit held in Kazakhstan capital Astana.

In an indirect reference to China’s ambitous road project – China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – a part of which runs through Pakistan occupied territory of Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir, Prime Minister Modi urged the member countries to boost connectivity withoung infringing the sovereignity of others.

Speaking on the need to improve connectivity among the member states, Prime Minister Modi said that we must deepen the focus on connectivity to boost trade and investment.

However, Indian leader asserted in presence of Chinese and Pakistani leaders that sovereignty and territorial integrity should be the key factors in such a cooperation.

China is building an ambitious $ 62 billion industrial and road netweork from western China to a strategic naval port located at Gwadar in Pakistan’s western state Sindh, close to Persian Gulf. India has consistently objected to Chinese investment in disputed region of Jammu & Kashmir and even snubbed Chinese overtures to join its one belt one road initiative.

His remarks assume significance as they come weeks after India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing in which 29 world leaders took part.

India abstained from the Summit to highlight its concerns over the USD 50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the pet project of Xi, and passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

(With inputs from agencies).