Pakistan Thursday rejected protests by India against a bus service between Pakistan and China passing though Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) under the ambitious CPEC project.
According to reports, the new bus service would be launched between Lahore in Pakistan and Kashgar in China via PaK on November 3.
“We reject the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ (MEA) purported protest and statement regarding bus service through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC),” Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) said.
India on Wednesday said it had lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan over a proposed bus service between the two countries through PaK.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said the bus service will be a violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Kumar said it has been 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.”
The USD 50-billion CPEC, launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan’s strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.
Pakistan FO said India’s repeated regurgitation of claims over Jammu and Kashmir can neither change the facts of history nor the legality of the Kashmir dispute.
It said as per the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution, the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed, the final status of which is to be determined through a democratic and impartial plebiscite to be held under the auspices of the UN.
The FO said Kashmir was the most militarised zone in the world.
It also called on India to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.