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Pakistan assures China of full security to economic corridor

Pakistan on Friday assured China that it would provide full security to the $46-billion economic corridor that will join the two countries as it passes through Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

world Updated: Oct 14, 2016 20:36 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir,Xi Jinping
Chinese and Pakistan troops after the launch of their first joint patrolling of the border connecting PoK with Xinjiang province, China.(PTI File)

Pakistan on Friday assured China of full security to the $46-billion economic corridor that will join the two countries while it passes through Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, one of the six main corridors of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, will connect the northwestern Xinjiang province to the Gwadar port.

India has repeatedly voiced its concerns about the CPEC because it passes through PoK.

Lieutenant General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, chief of general staff of the Pakistan army, assured General Fang Fenghui, member of China’s Central Military Commission, that the Pakistani military “resolutely” supports China to push forward the BRI.

The Pakistan army is “willing to provide all support for maintaining the security of the CPEC,” said Hayat, the senior most serving general who is in contention for the post of army chief after General Raheel Sharif retires in November.

According to a report published on an official military website, Fang said China and Pakistan were “iron brothers” with an all-weather partnership.

“Chinese President Xi Jinping has reached important consensus with Pakistani leaders on deepening the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries and building China-Pakistan community of common destiny during their meetings in recent years,” Fang was quoted as saying.

He said the two militaries “shall make full use of the quadrilateral cooperation and coordination mechanism (among Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and Tajikistan) to counter terrorism.”

The Chinese side is willing to make joint efforts with the Pakistani side to achieve the two countries’ common development, so as to benefit the peoples of the two countries, Fang continued.

The Chinese foreign ministry had told HT in September that China’s programmes in the region “aim at boosting the local economy and improving the people’s well-being.”

“It neither concerns any third party nor is it attacking the position of any side on the issue,” the ministry said with regards to CPEC, which India contends is linked inseparably to the Kashmir issue.

Whether India is opposed to the CPEC or not, the ministry said, “the CPEC has gradually stepped from primary planning to the full operational phase”.

First Published: Oct 14, 2016 20:36 IST