India lodged a strong protest with Pakistan and China over a bus service which is scheduled to connect Lahore in Pakistan and Kashgar in Xinjiang Autonomous Region in China through what India calls as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
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“We have lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan on the proposed bus service that will operate through Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir under the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries from the media.
India has protested the so-called ‘CPEC’ project as it runs through the occupied Kashmir region, which India maintains is part of Jammu and Kashmir.
“It is the government of India’s consistent and well-known position that the so-called China-Pakistan ‘boundary agreement’ of 1963 is illegal and invalid, and has never been recognised by the Government of India,” Raveesh Kumar said
“Therefore, any such bus service through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir will be a violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. Pakistan’s only link to China is through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). It is India and Afghanistan which share a border, now cut-off by Pakistan’s forceful occupation of PoK.
While the bus service is an endeavour at expanding “friendship” between Pakistan and China, the issue lies in the fact that the bus route passes through PoK, where a part of the ‘China Pakistan Economic Corridor’.
The so-called ‘CPEC’ is a key project under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pet Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India has not joined the BRI on the grounds that it does not respect other countries’ territorial integrity and has put participating countries under debt traps.