CPEC will not be influenced by Kashmir’s status changes: Ambassador Hashmi

BEIJING, Sep 19 (APP):The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative, will not be influenced by India cancelling the Kashmir’s special status and Pakistan,in close cooperation with China, was making every effort to complete the project, Pakistan Ambassador to China, Naghmana Alamgir Hashmi said on Thursday.

“Pakistan will continue to work closely with China to fully promote the completion of the project,” she said in an exclusive interview with the Global Times.

Ambassador Hashmi said that the CPEC will not be affected by withdrawal of status because “both Pakistan and China are fully determined to let this project reach its potential” for benefit of the region politically, economically and socially.

The infrastructure and energy sectors of the CPEC have been completed, and other projects are progressing in an orderly manner, she added.

To a question, she remarked that unless India withdraws its constitutional amendments to Kashmir’s status and its troops, Pakistan will not return to the negotiating table.

While commenting on reinforcement of troops deployed in Indian Occupied Kashmir, she said that India’s recent dispatch of troops to Indian Occupied Kashmir and the implementation of martial law in the local area were “to trap the local 8 million people in prison.” “Kashmir is bleeding and in this case, we cannot open a dialogue with India.”

Ambassador Hashmi said that unless India withdraws relevant laws, withdraws troops to Kashmir, cancels local curfews and resumes communications, and takes the initiative to demonstrate its sincerity in resolving Kashmir, Pakistan will not return to the negotiating table.

Pakistan, she said, has never taken military measures in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir region and will not initiate military operations in the future. “But if India attacked, Pakistan will certainly defend itself. The desire for peace does not mean weakness.”

She stressed that at the same time Pakistan will continue to adopt “moral, political and diplomatic efforts to solve the current test.

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