Pak dismisses India's concern over Pak-China rail link in PoK

Abdul Basit, the Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman, dismissed India's objections to the Pakistan-China proposed rail link through the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region in the Karakoram ranges .Amid concerns voiced by India over the rail link through the disputed Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), he told a weekly news briefing here that New Delhi has "no locus standi" in the matter and that its objections are "uncalled for and irrelevant".

The rail link is a matter of concern to India as it passes through some of the disputed areas forming part of PoK. According to experts, the rail link is part of plan by China to encircle India through cooperation with its "all weather" strategic partner. India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said in New Delhi that "we are closely watching what is happening".

Earlier, Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju said the rail link is definitely a matter of concern. "But we are taking our counter measures and we are doing our own preparation," Raju said.

According to earlier reports, Pakistan had awarded a USD 1.2 million contract to an international consortium to conduct a feasibility study for the 750-km rail line in 2007.
As per the past proposal, China would lay the track up to Khujerab.

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