PPP seeks debate in Senate over ‘US attempt to sabotage CPEC’

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ISLAMABAD: A motion seeking a debate on statements made by US Defence Secretary James Mattis regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was submitted in the Senate Secretariat by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Monday.

The motion was filed by Senator Sehar Kamran and states that the US defence secretary made the statements regarding CPEC in a bid to sabotage the $56 billion project.

On Saturday, Mattis had informed Congress that US believes CPEC crosses a disputed territory ─ originally an Indian claim ─ which further strained relations between the US and Pakistan that have already been tense following Donald Trump’s new South Asia policy. Mattis had stated before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US supports neither Beijing’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) project nor the CPEC.

“The OBOR also goes through disputed territory, and I think that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate,” Mattis had told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

India, incensed that projects under CPEC cut through the Gilgit-Baltistan region, has maintained that CPEC is a violation of its sovereignty.

Earlier this week, Pakistan and China rejected objections raised by the US over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying that the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative is backed by the United Nations.

Islamabad had asserted that “CPEC is a development and connectivity project for the betterment of the people in the region and beyond.”

SECOND MOTION SEEKS DEBATE ON ‘AMERICA SUPPORTING TERRORISM’:

PPP has filed another motion seeking debate on statements made by former Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai alleging that the US is supporting the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistan and supplying extremists with weapons.

The motion recognises Karzai’s statements as holding “great importance” for Pakistan and adds that US support for terrorism in the region “may affect the security of Pakistan.”

Karzai, in his interview with foreign media, had said that he has “more than suspicions” that US bases are being used to aid the IS.

He also claimed that the terror group has been able to spread in Afghanistan under the US watch.

The PPP has demanded that normal business of the House be adjourned to discuss the statements made by Mattis and Karzai.