Chinese univ report on Pak economic corridor warns of India ‘creating trouble’
India’s alleged support to separatist forces in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, its diplomatic offensive against Islamabad and involvement in Chabahar port of Iran are factors that could impact the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a report sanctioned by the Chinese government has said.
India’s strategic closeness with Afghanistan too is “destabilising” the border areas of Pakistan and creating problems for CPEC, the report contended.
The CPEC, which is expected to connect Kashgar in China with Gwadar port southwestern Pakistan through a network of roads, railway lines, oil and gas pipelines and fibre-optic cables, is the flagship project under President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative.
India has repeatedly raised its concerns about the project with China because the corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Referring to the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian national who Pakistan says was apprehended in Baloshistan province, the report compiled by scholars from Renmin University said: “Apart from formally pressurising (Pakistan), India with friends and in secret supported the Balochistan separatist movement in an attempt to divert the limited military strength of Pakistan towards the western side.”
It added, “Kulbhushan Jadhav’s code name was monkey. The target of his activities are: Penetrate Balochistan National Party, deliberately increase the dispute within Pakistan on CPEC, being in contact with Balochistan separatist group and terrorist groups, aiding terror activities and providing combat training to traitor groups.”
Scholars from Renmin University’s Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies and Caijing magazine put together the report after a two-week field trip to CPEC sites, including Gwadar port and Bin Qasim coal-fired power plant.
“India is most anxious about the construction of the CPEC and the opening and operation of the Gwadar port by China,” the report said.
“India thinks the CPEC and a strong Pakistan are huge threat to the security of India. Not only will the Chinese military forces come up on the north, east and west of India but also that Pakistan may completely cut off India from the channels to get oil and natural gas from the Persian Gulf and central Asia,” the report in Chinese argued.
It claimed India was “buying” poor refugees from Afghanistan with money and training them in terror activities. “They are a huge threat to the internal stability of Pakistan,” it added.
The report also contended that India’s cooperation with Iran to develop Chabahar port was aimed at countering the CPEC.
“India’s policy in dealing with Pakistan is not just limited to being destructive on the face. At the end of May (last year), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Iran and it had an important outcome. India will undertake constructions worth $50 billion in the Chabahar port of Sistan-Balochistan province in southeast Iran,” it said.
The report argued that compared to Chabahar port, Gwadar would evolve into a better port as bigger ships will be able to dock there and because of natural mountainous protection from hurricanes.
“But Chabahar port is not without any merit. The infrastructure within Iran is far better than in Pakistan. It can easily connect to the water and electricity network of the country. It only needs investment and construction; then it can be easily connected to the transport network within Iran,” it said.
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