New Delhi worried as China, Russia expand ties with Pakistan


The deepening economic and defence ties China and Russia are pursuing with Pakistan is worrying New Delhi and it is preparing to convey its concerns to Moscow and Beijing through diplomatic channels, according to Deccan Herald newspaper.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Islamabad is expected to add momentum to the ambitious project of building an economic corridor linking north-western China with southern Pakistan. Xi’s visit to Islamabad is also likely see Beijing announcing its plan to supply eight submarines to Pakistan Navy.

Russia too of late moved to step up its defence ties with Pakistan and the two countries this week agreed to hold their first ever joint military exercise. Moscow is also purportedly planning to invest $2 billion to lay a Liquefied Natural Gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore.

Sources told Deccan Herald that New Delhi would lodge a strong protest with Beijing if the projects to be announced during Chinese President’s visit to Islamabad included any part of Azad Kashmir.

This could even cast a shadow over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China next month, added sources.

New Delhi is likely to reiterate that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and any project undertaken by Pakistan — either on its own or in cooperation with China or any other country — in the territory under its “control ” would have “no legal basis and is completely unacceptable”.