India has issued demarches to both Pakistan and China conveying its position on construction of dams on the Indus river in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) by the Pakistani government with assistance committed to these projects by China, the government said today.
Replying to a written question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said India has a clear and consistent position that these territories are illegally occupied by Pakistan and that any collaborative activity there is in violation of India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“Accordingly, we have made demarches to both Pakistan and China conveying the position. The government continues to maintain this position,” Singh said.
Replying to a separate question on China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, Singh said the government has clearly articulated its firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be “based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law…and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
He also asserted that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPECBSE -4.45 %), which is being projected as a flagship project of OBOR initiative, passes through parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir which has been in illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947.
“The government has conveyed to the Chinese side, including at the highest level, its concerns about China’s activities in PoK and asked them to cease these activities,” the minister added.
India has also strongly conveyed its position at multilateral and international fora where issues related to OBOR/CPEC have been raised.
Recently, Russia asked India to find a way out to join OBOR without compromising on its position.
Responding to yet another question, Singh said in view of the significance of the Sino-India relationship, both sides are working towards utilising their bilateral dialogue mechanisms to promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and enhancing communication at all levels in order to build greater trust and understanding.
He also said that both India and China agree that the progress in bilateral relations should be guided by the consensus reached between their leaders, and that at a time of global uncertainty, India-China relations are a factor of stability and the two countries, in their relationship, must not allow differences to become disputes.