CPEC violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, Indian envoy tells UN

September 16, 2018

TEHRAN - China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is grabbing headlines for all the good and bad reasons. U.S. opposition to it is known to all and sundry because of the escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing. Now India has also raised concerns over the ambitious project, asserting that it violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

India raised the issue over China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, underlining that the CPEC project ignored New Delhi’s core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity, ANI reported.

India’s deputy permanent representative to UN, Virander Paul, presented a statement on the report of the working group on the right to development, stressing that India understands that right to development, remains extremely important for an overwhelming majority of the global population.

“But it was regrettable that, even after three decades of the adoption of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, and after 19 sessions of the working group on this subject, this right still remains a distant reality,” he said.

Paul further said that progress in the working group is possible only if participating member states demonstrate the necessary political will for seeking common ground with a result oriented approach.

“We agree that the process of development needs to be nationally owned and driven by national needs and priorities. However, what it needs to be complemented by is equitable economic relations and a favourable environment at the international level. It is high time that we recognise the right to development is central to the realisation of all other human rights,” he said.

He further apprised the council about a reference in the report of the working group of an intervention by a member state which goes against the principles enshrined in UNGA Resolution 41/128.

The envoy asserted that India shares international community’s desire for enhancing physical connectivity and believes that it should bring greater economic benefits to all in an equitable and balanced manner.

“Regarding the so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’, which is being projected as the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative, the international community is well aware of India’s position. No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. “India reaffirms its commitment to the implementation of the right to development.”

Earlier, the representative of Pakistan spoke of the country’s multifaceted approach towards development, including structural reforms, investment-friendly policies and social safety nets for the vulnerable, India Today reported.

CPEC, according to the Pakistani representative, is a key regional initiative for connectivity and the shared prosperity of nations and was a practical example of the realization of the right to development by fuelling economic growth in the region.

The representative tried to highlight that similar regional projects could promote international cooperation for development and operationalize the right to development, the report said.

China’s foreign minister Wang Yi during his three-day visit to Islamabad last week underscored the significance of CPEC and conveyed the desire of Chinese government to further enhance the strategic partnership between the two allies.

In February this year, Pakistan government had expressed fears that India may attack the installations of CPEC in a bid to sabotage the multi-billion mega project. A report in Dawn said Ministry of Interior Affairs had issued directives to Gilgit-Baltistan home department to ensure foolproof security measures around CPEC installations.

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