CPEC: India sponsoring terrorism to destabilize the project

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Muhammad Hanif

THE China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is being jointly constructed with the Chinese investment of US $ 62 billion. The project comprises a network of energy producing plants (hydro, coal, and solar powered), roads, railways, airports, dry ports, fibre optic lines for communications and industrial zones being built in Pakistan to connect Kashgar city of China with the Gwadar Port of Pakistan. The CPEC is being built as a pilot project of China’s Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative, that is aimed at interconnecting various regions and continents of the world as part of Chinese President XI Jinping’s vision of shared destinies with China’s neighbours and beyond through joint infrastructure and economic development projects.

The CPEC will interconnect China, Central Asian Republics (CARs), Russia, the Middle East and Africa through the warm waters of the Arabian Sea for facilitating wider and large scale trade, investment and tourism which will help bring prosperity to the people of these areas. As the CPEC project is designed to help boost Pakistan’s economic development, it can be rightly called as a gateway to the prosperity of Pakistan. The CPEC will benefit not only Pakistan and China, but the whole region, including, Afghanistan, Iran, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, CARs, Russia, ASEAN, the Middle East and North African countries.

Whereas all the above mentioned South Asian and the countries of other neighbouring regions have shown their interest in joining the CPEC, it is only India that has declined to join this project. Rather, India has started opposing the CPEC, thus denying huge economic benefits the CPEC can accrue to its people to address its rampant poverty. Also, instead of using CPEC to transport its goods to Afghanistan and CARs just within two days, India chose a very long and costly trade route with these countries through the sea to Iran’s Chabahar port, to Afghanistan to the CARs via road that will take about two months for the goods to reach the CARs.

India’s opposition to the CPEC is deeply ingrained in its strategy of attaining its hegemony in South Asia by preferring geopolitics over Geo-economics. As Pakistan does not accept Indian hegemony, India is trying to weaken Pakistan economically by containing its CPEC boosted economic development. India is not only opposing the CPEC through diplomatic statements, it is in fact, sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan using the Afghan soil to destabilize the construction of the CPEC. In this context, India is sponsoring sabotage and terrorist attacks along the CPEC route in KP and Balochistan provinces by using its Embassy and Consulates in Afghanistan to deter the Chinese engineers from working on the project. In this context, the confessions of Kulbhushan Jadhav, Indian Naval Spy Officer, that he was assigned to destabilize Balochistan by sponsoring terrorism, and the 14 November 2020 joint press conference by the Pakistani Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the DG ISPR, Major General Babar Iftikhar, containing evidence of India’s involvement in sponsoring terrorism in Balochistan, KP and Karachi, are a sufficient proof that India is sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.

As published by the Business Recorder and the Echo News dated 15 November 2020, in the above mentioned presser, The FM and DG ISPR presented a dossier detailing India’s involvement in sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan. The salient features of the dossier described are as follows. Pakistan has the evidence that while it is combating terrorism, India is promoting terrorism in Pakistan by using its soil to surround Pakistan “in a web of terrorism”. India has distributed Rs22 billion for the purpose of promoting and carrying out terror attacks in Pakistan. India’s objectives are to destabilize Pakistan and to disrupt the development of the CPEC as India knows that the project’s success can be an economic game changer for Pakistan.

The Indian Consulates operating along Pakistan borders have become hubs of terrorist sponsorship against Pakistan. Indian intelligence agencies, RAW and DIA are providing money, weapons, equipment, explosive devices (IEDs), suicide jackets and training support to the dissidents. The Indian intelligence agent, Colonel Rajesh, who works at the Indian embassy in Afghanistan, is the primary planner and coordinator of terrorist attacks in Pakistan. Pakistan has evidence of terrorist financing from India because RAW conducted transactions through Indian banks to promote terrorism in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. New Delhi has intensified its contacts with all the brands of terrorists, sub-nationalists and dissidents who operate against Pakistan.

To destabilize the CPEC, New Delhi has set up a cell in the RAW offices with the sole objective to disrupt the CPEC projects. According to the global village, the cell operates under the supervision of Indian Premier Narendra Modi. A sum of Rs.80 billion has been allocated to the cell for this purpose. There are also reports that India has established a 700-strong militia to target CPEC projects. Pakistan is well prepared to counter India’s evil designs and it has established and deployed two security divisions to safeguard the projects and the personnel working on them. Pakistan plans to present this dossier to the UN, the OIC and P5.

Given the alarming situation referred to above, in order to counter India’s nefarious designs, Pakistan must take the case to the UNSC, to the OIC, the FATF and other important international fora and to lay out India’s strategy to sponsor terrorism in Pakistan. Pakistan should also present the evidence to the P5 countries to convince them that India must be declared by the UNSC, a state sponsoring terrorism and liable to international sanctions, and its name should be on the FATF blacklist. If the international community does not act aggressively against India, the situation will eventually lead to a catastrophic war between two nuclear neighbours.

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