- Planning Ministry officials send a letter to China Embassy in Islamabad
Pakistan on Monday sought clarification from Chinese officials over content of Chinese Ambassador Luo Zhaohui’s reportedly ‘closed door’ address at the United Service Institution, an Indian defence think tank, on Friday, but the text was released by the Chinese Embassy on Monday.
Ambassador Luo reportedly said that China had no intention to get involved in the ‘sovereignty and territorial disputes’ between Pakistan and India. “China supports solution of the disputes through bilateral negotiations,” he said, adding that the CPEC was for promoting economic cooperation and connectivity and it has no connections to or impact on sovereignty issues.
“Even we can think about ‘renaming’ the CPEC. China and India have had successful experience of delinking sovereignty disputes with bilateral relations before. In history, we have had close cooperation along the ancient Silk Road. Why shouldn’t we support this kind of cooperation today,” he said and questioned.
In a quick response, officials from the Ministry of Planning and Development have written a letter to Chinese officials at the China Embassy in Islamabad over a controversial statement in New Delhi by Chinese official. “We are awaiting Chinese clarification on this situation,” a private TV channel quoted officials as saying.
Referring to the views in India that China always puts Pakistan first when handling its relations with South Asian countries, Ambassador Luo said that Beijing always followed ‘China first’ policy and that problems were dealt with based on merit. “Take Kashmir issue for example, we supported the relevant UN resolutions before 1990s. Then we supported a settlement through bilateral negotiation in line with the Simla Agreement,” he said.
“This (policy shift) is an example of China taking care of India’s concern,” he said in contrary to a Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry’s May 3 statement that China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. “It (Kashmir) is an issue left over from history between Pakistan and India, and shall be properly addressed by Islamabad and New Delhi through consultation and negotiation,” it said.