Indian criticism of China’s help in Kashmir unfair: Nawaz
BEIJING: Pakistan has the right to carry out development activities in Kashmir and establish economic cooperation with China for its development, visiting former premier Nawaz Sharif said during his visit to China.
Sharif, the chief of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the opposition party in Pakistan, made the remarks appeared in China Daily while referring to an earlier report from India, which criticised China’s involvement in ongoing projects in Azad Kashmir.
“The criticism is not fair. It is the basic right and requirement for Pakistanis in the Kashmir area to benefit from such projects and no one can deprive them of these rights,” Sharif said.
According to the website of the Council on Foreign Relations, there are about 10,000 Chinese workers engaged in 120 projects in Pakistan. Chinese investment there — including heavy engineering, power generation, mining, and telecommunications — was valued at $4 billion in 2007 and is expected to rise to $15 billion during 2010.
“Pakistan and India have long outstanding issues that need to be solved, and we are thankful for China’s support for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue,” the newspaper quoted Nawaz Sharif as saying.
The opposition leader added that India and Pakistan have remained engaged in an “unnecessary and unproductive” arms race during the past 60 years and both have spent billions of dollars on military hardware instead of diverting this amount for the social welfare of their people.
Sharif stressed that China is Pakistan’s “most reliable friend” and the friendship between the two countries is “time-tested” and will remain strong. — APP