'Pak to go ahead with all projects in PoK with China'

'Pak to go ahead with all projects in PoK with China'

Notwithstanding India's objections to China-assisted developmental projects in PoK, Pakistan today said it will go ahead with its plans there, including the multi-billion dollar Sino-Pak economic corridor.

"Pakistan would go ahead with all projects because we have not objected any development project in Kashmir which benefits residents of Kashmir," Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told media at a briefing.

Aslam criticised India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for asking China to stop infrastructure building projects, including construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Swaraj, answering a query in the Lok Sabha yesterday on projects of China and Pakistan, had said, "The government has seen reports with regard to China and Pakistan being involved in infrastructure building activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, including construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor."

The External Affairs Minister had said that the Government has conveyed its concerns to China about their activities in PoK, and asked them to cease such activities.
India had flagged its concerns regarding Chinese activities in PoK during China's Premier Li Keqiang's visit to New Delhi in May this year.

China is involved in Neelum–Jhelum hydropower project in PoK. Earlier, it also helped in Mangla Dam rising project on river Jhelum.

On UN chief Ban Ki-moon's readiness to engage with India and Pakistan in resolving Kashmir issue if requested by both, Aslam said Pakistan welcomes the statement.
She said that unresolved issue of Kashmir is the root cause of tension with India.

"Final settlement of this issue must be through plebiscite and in accordance with the wishes of people of Kashmir," she said.

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