Sunday, April 17, 2016

US must come clean on CPEC - by Aruba Adil for Aaj News

 April 16, 2016 

by Aruba Adil

Of the very few international players hostile to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor India stands out as the most active. On day one, it expressed its hostility to this co-operative project, in so many words, and also set in motion its intelligence agencies to sabotage it, mainly by generating anti-CPEC feelings among some residents of Balochistan.

Given the India’s dream of turning the Indian Ocean into an ‘Indian lake’ such an interference was, but how deeply involved in it India is it has come out now rather clearly in the light of confessions made by RAW agent Kulboshan Yadav.

Obviously, the kind of appeasement to improve relations with India witnessed in the recent past is likely to take the back seat now – even if some so-called well-wishers of Pakistan may try recovering the lost ground. There is a feeling among Pakistanis of being stabbed in the back, a feeling that the statement of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif mirrored at a seminar at Gwadar on Tuesday.

“I would like to make a special reference to Indian intelligence agency RAW that is blatantly involved in destabilising Pakistan,” the general said, and then promised:

“Let me make it clear that we will not allow anyone to create impediments and turbulence in any part of Pakistan.”

For this to materialise he has asked the people of the province to “leave behind confrontation and focus on cooperation”.

At stake is the territorial integrity of the state of Pakistan, which cannot be held hostage to some kind of political engineering – though sincere but always futile.

General Sharif also reaffirmed the Pakistan Army’s resolve to provide security to the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which has the right potential to bring true economic transformation to Balochistan.

The CPEC is a corridor of peace and prosperity not only for the people of Pakistan and China but also for the region and beyond, the Army Chief told the seminar at the time when Indian leadership was in cahoots with Americans in New Delhi where these two countries were working out a strategy aimed at whittling down what they perceive China’s fast emerging pre-eminence in the Indian Ocean and its littoral states.

Somehow the long dead horse is being resurrected. After a decade of infatuation during which they became “hindi bhai chini bhai” India came to blows with China in 1962 over the festering border dispute. India’s humiliating defeat forced it to mull over the United States’ offer to contain China.

Not only did US endorse Indian position on McMohan Line, it also offered it a five-year defence agreement and in return procured New Delhi’s permission to install instruments near the Chinese border to monitor Chinese rocket telemetry and atomic tests.

So existed over the development was then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru; and he volunteered that ‘should China try to break out somewhere in Asia, Washington could count on India for joint defence’. Something like that seems to be in the making once again now that the sides have “agreed to strengthen cooperation in the area of maritime security”.

Under a joint statement released in New Delhi after talks the visiting US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter had with his counterpart Manohar Parrikar, they “reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over flight throughout the region, including in the south China Sea”.

We would hate to bracket the American perspective with India’s on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, but still expect the US government to come clean on what it means by ensuring maritime security in the India Ocean region.

The Gwadar port is ‘almost ready’ and expects to process about a million tons of cargo before the year is out. It is indeed once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of Balochistan in particular and the forces are committed to protecting its security.

Source: Business Recorder

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