PPP asks senate’s debate on US Defense Secretary statement about CPEC

Islamabad: Pakistan Peoples Party has asked senate to debate on the recent statement by the US defense secretary James Mattis regarding Pakistan China Economic corridor.

The motion, filed by Senator Sehar Kamran, says that the defence sec­retary’s statement regarding the CPEC is an attempt by the US to sabotage the $56 billion project.

It adds that the statement amounts to interference in Pakistan’s domestic affairs.

On Saturday, Mattis had informed Congress that US believes CPEC passes through a disputed territory  originally an Indian claim  further straining relations between the US and Pakistan that have 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 said.

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, responding to US reservations regarding the project, Islamabad had asserted that “CPEC is a development and connectivity project for the betterment of the people in the region and beyond.”

Beijing, too, has dismissed US criticism of the projects.

In the second motion, the PPP has sought debate on statements made by former Afghan president Hamid Karzai in which he alleged that the US is supporting the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistanand 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.”

In his interview with foreign media, Karzai 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 its tentacles in the country just under the nose of the US forces and the CIA.

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