Pakistan's relations with India, Afghanistan key to Pak-China corridor: Chinese think-tank
Pakistan's internal security situation as well as its relations with India and Afghanistan will play a key role in the proposed USD 18-billion China-Pakistan economic corridor, according to a think-tank.
The 2,000-km corridor connecting China's Xinjiang province with Pakistan's Gwadar port involves railways, highways and oil and gas pipelines, said Li Wei, director of the Institute of Security and Arms Control Studies that is attached to the State Interior Security Ministry.
"Generally speaking, the security situation in Pakistan is very important for Pakistan for the establishment of the corridor and also the security situation in the neighbouring countries and Pakistan's relations with the neighbouring countries," Li said at an interaction with the foreign media arranged by the state-run All China Journalists Association at Beijing.
"The establishment of the corridor will come a long way in boosting the economic and security environment in this region. There are three important countries in this region, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. So this economic corridor will exert very positive impact in boosting trade ties among the these three countries," he said.
Earlier, an article in state-run Global Times spoke of India's concerns relating to the project as it runs through the disputed Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).
Li said, "Geographically speaking, the corridor runs through the Pakistan controlled Kashmir region, tribal regions of north western parts of Pakistan though to Gwadar port".
His reference to "Pakistan controlled Kashmir" is significant as all Chinese officials as well as state media routinely skip referring the PoK which connects both the countries. Much of the 2,000-km long planned economic corridor runs through PoK.
Also Li spoke of the significance of security of the project given the volatile situation prevailing in Pakistan which witnessed a spate of violent attacks.
Considering the situation "there must be security guarantee for the establishment of this corridor", Li said.