Pakistani Gen invites India
Pakistani Lt Gen has invited India to participate in CPEC. In Picture: Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks at the inauguration of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor port in Gwadar, Pakistan November 13, 2016.Reuters

Top Pakistani Lt General Aamir Riaz, commander of the Southern Command, has made a rare comment by saying India should "shun enmity" and join the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. 

"India should share the fruits of future development by shelving the anti-Pakistan activities and subversion," said Riaz at an award distribution ceremony at the Balochistan Frontier Corps (FC) headquarters on Wednesday, Express Tribune reported.

Apart from China and Pakistan, Iran and recently Russia too have shown interest in the project that will eventually see trade being conducted via road from Kashgar in China's Xinjiang to Gwadar port in Pakistan's Balochistan.

Riaz's Southern Command is in charge of security in Balochistan and Pakistani authorities allege that India aids subversive activities in the region, where the Baloch population has been fighting for freedom from Pakistan for several years now. Pakistan also blames India for supporting Baloch nationalist leaders.

Riaz said that the people of Balochistan will not be swayed by the designs of the self-exiled Baloch leaders and claimed that these leaders were on "enemy's" payroll.

He further noted that about 700 personnel of the Pakistani Army were killed in the last 10 years and claimed that the Baloch fighters were defeated and forced to flee.

However, on Monday, a team of houbara bustard hunters from Abu Dhabi came under gun attack near Panjgur, west Balochistan,. Two of the convoy vehicles were damaged. The banned Balochistan Libration Front claimed responsibility of the attack, Dawn reported.

Meanwhile, India has expressed its concerns over the project and has told China to be "sensitive" to Indian strategic concerns.

6 reasons why India opposes CPEC:

  • The corridor will also see energy-related projects coming up. Trade will be via rail and road and it will also be used to ferry oil and gas. China will be building the necessary infrastructure that will facilitate Chinese deployment of troops in India's western front in case of India-Pakistan war.
  • India is worried that China has brushed aside its concerns that the corridor runs via Gilgit-Baltistan, which is originally a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir but is now Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
  • India is concerned that China is encircling it via its One Belt One Road that has Silk Road and Maritime Silk sea route aspects. CPEC is considered to be an expansion of OBOR. The CPEC also invades on India's traditional influence areas, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Eastern African coastal countries and others.
  • China is funding CPEC, which means it will try to protect its interest in the PoK. This will make China a party in the India-Pakistan dispute over PoK. India has always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and must be resolved by the two countries.
  • In the event of India or Pakistan taking the disputed area of PoK to international court, there are high chances that Pakistan might win the case as it has invested heavily in the area along with China.
  • China will gain access to Gwadar port thus giving it a permanent access to Arabian Sea. Gwadar is a strategic location near the Straits of Hormuz, through which 63 percent of India's oil imports are transported using the waterways.
  • India has invested in another strategic location near Gwadar, in the Iranian port of Chabahar. The port will provide an alternative for trade between India and Afghanistan.