Mohammad Sadiq, Secretary of the National Security Division, said on Thursday that Indian plots against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were part of its broader strategy to contain China.
The corridor which connects Gwadar at Arabian Sea with Xinjiang (China) “is seen as a counter strategy of China to address threats at Malacca; hence activities to sabotage this project and Indian interference in Balochistan,” Mr Sadiq said. He was speaking at a seminar on “Emerging Geo-Strategic Landscape in South-West Asia and the Asia Pacific” organised by an Islamabad-based think tank, Strategic Vision Institute (SVI), in collaboration with German Foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. He said Pakistan needed to be very careful about the implementation of the $46 billion CPEC which included energy, transportation and infrastructure projects.
India has been vocal in its opposition to the project and protested to China over it. The CPEC counterbalances the Indian plans for exploiting Chinese weakness in the Indian Ocean by blocking Malacca Strait in times of conflict.
“Indian strategic thinkers have proposed strengthening of naval capabilities to fight pressures by China on its north. This thinking aims at denying China free waters through the Strait of Malacca to soften China’s stance on China-India border,” Mr Sadiq said.
Security, therefore, has been a major concern for the project and the military, soon after its inauguration during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad, announced the establishment of a 10,000-strong special force for protecting the projects to be carried out under the CPEC and the Chinese workers associated with them.