Pakistan Army vows to protect $46 bn CPEC ‘at any cost’

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Islamabad, June 2 (IANS) Pakistan’s powerful Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said on Thursday that the army was aware of all “hostility” being perpetrated against the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in an apparent reference to India.

“We are ready to pay any price to turn this long cherished dream into reality,” Gen Sharif said, speaking at a conference held at the General Headquarters in twin city Rawalpindi, adding that the $46 billion CPEC project will transform the lives of people of Pakistan.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the participants of the conference were given a comprehensive briefing on the prevailing internal and external security situation of the country.

Gen Sharif last month met the top Chinese leadership in Beijing and assured them of full security to the ambitious $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that passes through the restive Balochistan province.

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The ambitious 3,000-km CPEC project was launched in 2015 to link western China to southern Pakistan through a network of roads, railways and pipelines.

Sharif’s trip to Beijing followed the visit in April of Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who held extensive talks with top Chinese leaders and military officials.

India has voiced concern over the corridor project as it passes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir. New Delhi has raised the issue with Beijing on a number of occasios, including at the highest level.

Last month, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh said there are “problems with the project (CPEC). It is through a territory which belongs to India”.



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