New Delhi: India on Wednesday said it has lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan over a proposed bus service between the two countries through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Wednesday the bus service will be a violation of India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to reports, the new bus service will be launched between Lahore in Pakistan and Kashgar in China via Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on November 13. Kumar said it has been India's consistent and well-known position that the "so-called China-Pakistan 'Boundary Agreement' of 1963 is illegal and invalid, and has never been recognised by the Government of India." "Therefore, any such bus service through Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir will be a violation of India's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added. The MEA spokesperson was responding to media queries regarding the proposed bus service. The USD 50-billion CPEC, launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China's resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan's strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.