ANI | Geneva | September 19, 2016: Maintaining that Balochistan is an occupied territory by Pakistan, Mehran Marri, Baloch Representative at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), on Monday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an “illegal” project.”
I have started my talks basically on the legality of CPEC. CPEC is an illegal project. It should first and foremost be counted on legality. Balochistan is an occupied territory. It is an occupied nation by Pakistan,” Marri told ANI.
He further said any illegal construction in Balochistan should be objected by the international community.”China and Pakistan have no legal right to construct on the Baloch soil. Any construction goes on is illegal and international community should object to the construction,” he added.
Earlier, members of the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) protested outside the UN office in Geneva to highlight the atrocities committed by Pakistan on Baloch people and against the CPEC project.
The protesters also raised slogans such as, “China must leave Balochistan.”
The Baloch people have been protesting alleging Pakistan of being only concerned about the resources in Balochistan and not its people and exploiting the region’s resources and trading it to Beijing.
The raising of the CPEC at an international forum is bound to create discomfort in both Beijing and Islamabad, especially for the Chinese. Considered to be a part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, the USD46 billion project covers Balochistan and Sindh provinces and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The CPEC cuts through the entire north-south length of Pakistan and is aimed at giving China access to the Gwadar Port that it has helped construct on the Balochistan coast. The total cost of the project was projected at $46 billion, but recent reports in Chinese state-run media have hinted concern in Beijing at the “increasing cost of security” and “potential setbacks”.
For Pakistan, CPEC is critical. Islamabad looks at the project as a potential to galvanize its sagging economy.
India has formally opposed the CPEC because it runs through PoK. (ANI)