WASHINGTON: Instead of opposing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), India should join it and look at different opportunities, Pakistan minister of planning and development Ahsan Iqbal said.
Responding to a question at the US Institute of Peace, an American think-tank, Iqbal alleged that India’s reaction to $46 billion CPEC is “a knee jerk” reaction.
India, he said, needs to look at opportunities of increasing regional cooperation, as it would provide India the shortest land route+ to do trade with most of China.
“What you also have to see, that in China, they have now developed extensive road and rail links with West China,” the minister said.
“If you are even doing trade through CPEC, you can reach out to any destination in China from this area. So, we are very hopeful and we continue to work to normalize our relations with India,” the minister added.
The minister also rued the fact that Pakistan-bashing is still a poll issue in India.
“We are hoping that by March, these state elections will be over and maybe then there will be a better environment to pursue peace talks with India,” the minister said.