CPEC “open” to all countries, don’t politicise the issue: Sharif

Nawaz Sharif
Photo of the Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff.

Beijing: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today stated that the “issue must not be politicised” and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was “open” to all the countries in the region.

Sharif made the comments as India skipped China’s Belt and Road Summit in opposition to the planned economic route which passes through Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

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“Let me make it very clear that CPEC is an economic undertaking open to all countries in the region. It has no geographical boundaries. It must not be politicized,” Sharif said here on the opening day of the event.

India gave the forum a miss, opposing the $46 billion economic corridor which cuts through Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. New Delhi lays claim to the region. It is the key artery of China’s Belt and Road project, which connects Kashgar in Xinjiang with Gwadar port in Pakistan’s Balochistan.

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One Belt One Road (OBOR), Chinese President Xi Jinping’s dream project, envisages connecting Asia, Europe and Africa by a network of roads, railway tracks and shipping lanes. Sharif said the Belt and Road “rejected the encirclement for any country. It is about connectivity. It is about emancipation.”