ISLAMABAD; AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that India’s objection to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor passing through a disputed area is unfounded. He said that international conventions do not prohibit economic development or foreign investment in disputed areas.
He made these remarks during a call on by Laura Schuurman a researcher and writer, here in Islamabad. The President said that CPEC is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a mega project aimed at economic inter-connectivity.
Speaking about India’s objection over the CPEC, he said that India hardly objected to the Karakoram Highway passing through Gilgit-Baltistan but this time around, India feels threatened by China’s growing economic and political influence in the region. He added that India also fears that Pakistan will reap the benefits of this projects leading to economic stability and prosperity.
President Masood Khan said that CPEC will revolutionize economic activity in this region by not only connecting Pakistan to China but also establishing access routes to Central Asia; making Pakistan a trade conduit and an economic destination. He informed that in AJK, 4 major projects under CPEC which including two hydropower projects (Kohala and Karot), a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Mirpur and an Expressway connecting the SEZ to the Central CPEC route have been approved which are under different stages of planning and implementation.
President AJK while discussing the situation in Jammu & Kashmir said that 700,000 armed forces personnel have been deployed there, making it the highest military concentration of any country in a conflict zone. These forces, he said, were terrorizing the unarmed Kashmiris by openly murdering innocent protestors, maiming the youth, harassing the Hurriyat leadership and illegally incarcerating the people whose only demand is to exercise their just right to self-determination.
President Azad Kashmir said that being the only sovereign window for the Kashmiri people, Pakistan has over the past 70 years kept the issue alive through its diplomatic and political support for the peaceful resolution of the conflict. He said that we will continue to raise our voice against the human right violations taking place in J&K.