Human Rights Without Frontiers – Village crackdown on ‘illegal religious activities’ nets dozens of Uyghurs

Radio Free Asia, 26 April 2017. Dozens of ethnic Uyghurs from a small village in northwestern China’s Xinjiang region, including several sets of siblings, have been swept up in a recent crackdown on “illegal religious activities” after they attended lectures by unsanctioned imams, according to local officials.

At least 52 Uyghurs in Tomosteng township’s No. 2 village, in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture’s Yarkand (Shache) county, have been arrested under related charges, the 140-household village’s party secretary Ablet Hekim told RFA’s Uyghur Service in an interview earlier this week.

Of those arrests, 39 were the result of a “recent” sweep by local authorities, Hekim said, adding that 35 are now in jail and the remaining four-all of whom are “unofficial imams” that the state does not recognize-have been sent for “political reeducation”.

The other 13 have been serving sentences “since previous sweeps during the 2000s,” according to the party secretary.
“This week we have handed down verdicts for 13 out of the 35 [now held in jail] and delivered the official notices to their families, door to door,” Hekim said.

Sentences for the 13 ranged from two-and-a-half to 10 years in prison.

“The 35 listened to ‘illegal religious sermons’ at least two times, because we usually only warn one-time listeners and let them go,” he said.

According to Hekim, the sermons did not contain any sensitive references to “dividing the country” or anti-government rhetoric often linked to unsanctioned religious activities.

“They were sentenced simply because they had listened to sermons by the unofficial imam Abdukerim at an unauthorized venue [outside of a government sanctioned-mosque]”, he said.

Hekim provided RFA with a list of all 35 Uyghurs held amid the crackdown, as well as their ages.

Among the 35, three women: Buhelish Nur, Heyrinsa Ehmet and Patima Seyittursun, were punished for “inviting people to attend” the sermons, he said.

At least five sets of siblings were jailed as part of the recent sweep, including brothers Ahmat, Tursun and Imin Zayit, as well as sister and brother Nurimangul and Memet Talip.

“Ahmat Zayit’s family has no one of working age left at home, so there is no one maintaining their fields,” he Hekim said.

“His kids have been taken in by his nephew’s family”.

Report of arrest

RFA obtained confirmation of the 52 arrests in No. 2 village while investigating a report published last week by exile Uyghur website Hoylam.com, which claimed that a 73-year-old Uyghur woman named Helchihan Hoshur was detained after making disparaging comments about Chinese policies during a “self-criticism” session in Tomosteng township’s neighboring No. 7 village.

Party secretaries from three different villages in Tomosteng township, including No. 3 village chief Qembernisa Hashim, were unable to confirm Hoshur’s detention.

“We do not have anybody like that, all the detainees in our village are males, Hashim told RFA, without providing details about the detainees there.

“We would have recognized her, since we conduct a lot of political educational work with her family members”.
RFA was unable to confirm the identities of the male detainees from No. 7 village or the reason for their arrests.

China has vowed to crack down on what it calls religious extremism in Xinjiang, and regularly conducts “strike hard” campaigns including police raids on Uyghur households, restrictions on Islamic practices, and curbs on the culture and language of the Uyghur people, including videos and other material.

While China blames Uyghur extremists for terrorist attacks, experts outside China say Beijing has exaggerated the threat from the Uyghurs and that repressive domestic policies are responsible for an upsurge in violence there that has left hundreds dead since 2009.

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Human Rights Without Frontiers – China: Police raid at the underground Catholic mass in Heilongjiang

Acting together, the Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security and the United Front carried out the operation. Seized before Easter, the bishop of Wenzhou is back home. Bishop Guo Xijin of Mindong is still in police custody. The confrontation with the Vatican increases.

AsiaNews.it, 27 April 2017. Heilongjiang’s Communist authorities congratulated themselves for “blocking illegal religious activities”.

When police raided a small community hall during Mass, they ransacked the place and tried to arrest the parish priest and the community’s lay leader.

The action was taped and the video was briefly posted on-line. In it, several police agents can be seen discussing animatedly with worshippers and trying to remove Fr Shen Yanjun, an underground priest who took up his post in the church in Qinshan (Wudalianchi) seven months ago.

In a statement, local authorities said they “successfully stopped an underground Catholic priest from holding an illegal religious activity”.

The police raid was a joint operation between the Religious Affairs Bureau, Public Security and the United Front.

Since they are opposed to a dialogue between the Chinese government and the Holy See, the Religious Affairs Ministry and the United Front (which includes the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association) continue to clash with the Church and the Vatican.

Before Easter they seized two underground bishops, Mgr Vincent Guo Xijin of Mindong and Mgr Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, to prevent them from celebrating Easter services in their respective diocese.

Both are recognised by the Holy See but not by the government. Sources told AsiaNews that Mgr Shao is now back home whilst Mgr Guo’s whereabouts remain unknown.

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The Statesman – India says Arunachal part of India territory; hints at joining OBOR initiative

Would it not be a good idea to ask the opinion of the people of Arunachal Pradesh/South Tibet ? Of course neither India nor China are much interested in real democracy !
Man in Blue

Statesman News Service

New Delhi, 20 April 2017. While sending out a clear message to Beijing that Arunachal Pradesh was and would remain a part of the Indian territory, India on Thursday indicated that it might take part in the ‘One Beat One Road’ Summit being hosted by China next month.

“Assigning invented names to the towns of your neighbour does not make illegal territorial claims legal,” MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said when asked for response to China’s decision to rename six places in the North-eastern state, which Beijing calls ‘South Tibet’.

He confirmed that India had received an invitation from China for participating in the OBOR Summit, a signature initiative of President Xi Jinping. The invite was being considered.

Although China has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the summit, India is said to be considering asking its envoy in Beijing to attend the meet. Nearly 30 Heads of State or Government are likely to participate in it.

India has already lodged its protest with China over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is seen as part of the OBOR initiative, since it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). New Delhi is expected to reiterate this position if it takes part in the OBOR Summit.

http://www.thestatesman.com/india/india-dismisses-china-s-renaming-of-places-1492696111.html

Dawn – China names areas in region disputed with India to assert claims

China has issued standardised spellings of the names of six places in a region disputed with India, in what China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday was an assertion of sovereignty.

China was upset when exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, whom it considers a dangerous separatist, visited the contested stretch of land on the India-China border this month.

Arunachal Pradesh is an eastern Himalayan state administered by New Delhi but claimed by China as Southern Tibet.

Last week, China’s civil affairs ministry released a list of six places in the state with what China considers to be their formal names, in Chinese, Tibetan and English.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the move was appropriate and reflected the names used by Chinese ethnic groups, such as the Tibetans, over a long time.

“These names also reflect, and explain from one aspect, that China’s territorial claims on Southern Tibet have an obvious historical, cultural and administrative jurisdiction basis,” Lu told a daily news briefing.

Indian officials have dismissed China’s criticism of the Dalai Lama’s second visit to Arunachal Pradesh in eight years, saying he is a spiritual leader who has a devoted following in the region.

The Dalai Lama, who fled to India from Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule, says he wants genuine autonomy for his remote homeland rather than independence.

Despite efforts by China and India to improve ties over recent years, deep suspicions persist, especially over their border dispute.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1327979/china-names-areas-in-region-disputed-with-india-to-assert-claims

The Hindu – Dalai Lama says it’s for people to decide fate of his office

“They will decide whether the tradition continues or not,” he told reporters in Tawang, located in India’s remote northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Gauhati-Assam-India, 8 April 2017. The exiled Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said on Saturday that it’s up to his followers to decide whether the office of the Dalai Lama exists in the future.

During a visit to the northeast Indian town of Tawang the second-highest seat of Tibetan Buddhism the Dalai Lama denied that he had any knowledge of where his successor would be born. Asked if the next Dalai Lama could be a woman, he said, “That might also happen.”

The question of who will replace the 81-year-old spiritual leader has gained significance in recent years, with Beijing insisting that the next Dalai Lama be born in China.

On Saturday, the Tibetan leader said the people should decide on the question of the next Dalai Lama.

“They will decide whether the tradition continues or not,” he told reporters in Tawang, located in India’s remote northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

The Dalai Lama is on a weeklong visit to Arunachal Pradesh despite objections by China, which considers the state a disputed region.

On China’s claim on the next Dalai Lama, he said, “Let China first come clear on its theory on rebirth.”

The Dalai Lama said that he has nothing to do with “politics,” and that it was the Tibetan self-declared government-in-exile that handled all political matters, including the Tibetan cause.

“I retired from politics in 2011 and all political matters are handled by our government-in-exile,” he said. “However, I am committed to promote and preserve Tibetan culture and ecology.”

The Dalai Lama and his followers have been living in exile in the Himalayan town of Dharamsala in northern India since they fled Tibet after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule.

China doesn’t recognize the Tibetan government-in-exile, and hasn’t held any dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama since 2010.

China says Tibet has historically been part of its territory since the mid-13th century, and the Communist Party has governed the Himalayan region since 1951. But many Tibetans say that they were effectively independent for most of their history, and that the Chinese government wants to exploit their resource-rich region while crushing their cultural identity.

In Tawang, thousands of people thronged both sides of the road on Saturday and broke into loud cheers and waved prayer flags as the Dalai Lama’s motorcade entered a stadium where he addressed his followers.

Tawang was spruced up for the Dalai Lama’s visit his first since 2009. Streets were swept, houses freshly painted and welcome arches and banners erected across the main streets.

The Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh has drawn sharp protests from China. On Wednesday, China accused India of “using” the Dalai Lama to undermine Beijing’s interests and summoned the Indian ambassador in Beijing to formally lodge a protest.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying warned India that China “will firmly take necessary measures to defend its territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests.”

India responded by saying China was creating an “artificial controversy.”

China claims about 90,000 sq km (35,000 square miles) in Arunachal Pradesh, referred to informally by some Chinese as “Southern Tibet.” India says China is occupying 38,000 sq km (15,000 square miles) of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau.

The Dalai Lama has often said that he was not seeking independence for Tibet, but trying to secure greater autonomy for the Tibetan people within China.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/dalai-lama-says-its-for-people-to-decide-fate-of-his-office/article17892636.ece

The Indian Express – In Tawang, reincarnation talks on Dalai Lama table

China has always held that the next Dalai Lama should be selected with Beijing’s nod, which the current Dalai Lama is against.

Varinder Bhatia

Tawang-Arunachal Pradesh-India, 8 April 2017. The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, finally reached Tawang Friday and received a warm traditional welcome amid all manner of warnings and displeasure expressed by China.

The Dalai Lama’s visit to the Tawang monastery has sparked speculation that he would discuss his reincarnation with the high lamas of various Buddhist monasteries across the world.

A large number of senior lamas have reached the Tawang monastery where they shall hold closed-door meetings on various issues with the Dalai Lama.

A senior lama at Tawang monastery said, “His Holiness shall be holding closed-door meetings with the senior lamas and abbots of various monasteries. These highly respected lamas have reached Tawang last week from various places. The issue of reincarnation shall also be discussed, besides various other religious issues.”

The 81-year-old Dalai Lama had earlier said he shall disclose his reincarnation when he turns 90. In 2011, he had raised questions on his reincarnation.

In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed that the Dalai Lama after death is reincarnated as a child, who is chosen the successor.

In an official statement released by his office in 2011, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism had said: “When I am about 90,I will consult the high Lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public and other concerned people who follow Tibetan Buddhism and re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue.

On that basis, we will take a decision.”

China has always held that the next Dalai Lama should be selected with Beijing’s nod, which the current Dalai Lama is against.

Escorted by the Arunachal Pradesh CM, the Dalai Lama reached Tawang around 3 pm after a seven-hour road journey from Dirang to Tawang. He shall be in Tawang till April 10 and leave for Manali on 11 April.

The Hindu – Ties severely damaged, says China

Atul Aneja

Beijing, 5 April 2017. Analysts say CM Pema Khandu’s statement can be interpreted as questioning the “one-China” principle.

The row between India and China on the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh spiralled on Wednesday, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry asserting that the Tibetan leader’s visit to the State “will escalate the dispute in border areas.” China also lodged a protest with India’s Ambassador in Beijing Vijay Gokhale.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying stressed, in response to a question at her regular briefing that the Dalai Lama’s visit had “severely damaged” Sino-Indian ties.

“India is keenly aware of the role of the 14th Dalai Lama. Arranging this visit to the disputed areas not only runs counter to India’s commitments on Tibet but will escalate the dispute in border areas,” she observed.

Chinese interests hit

Ms Hua said that the Tibetan leader’s visit had “severely damaged China’s interests.”

According to her, India had acted “obstinately “by green-lighting the visit, despite repeated Chinese protests.

Arunachal Pradesh is at the heart of the Sino-Indian boundary dispute in the eastern sector.

The dispute in this zone is over territory south of the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh, which includes Tawang,  which is on the Dalai Lama’s itinerary. The McMahon Line was the result of the 1914 Simla Convention, between British India and Tibet, and was rejected by China.

Reuters quoted Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh as saying that the State does not share a boundary with China, but with Tibet.

“As far as the boundary issue is concerned, I have also maintained that we don’t share our boundary with China, but we share our boundary with Tibet,” he observed. Analysts say that the statement can be interpreted as questioning the “one-China” principle.

An op-ed in the state-run tabloid Global Times accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of seemingly taking “a different stance on the Dalai issue, raising public engagements with the monk and challenging Beijing’s bottom line.”

Rejecting India’s position that the visit was purely religious in nature, Ms. Hua said that no one believed that the Dalai Lama was visiting a “disputed region” for religious reasons alone.

“We demand the Indian side immediately stop wrong actions, not hype up sensitive issues and take concrete steps to safeguard growth of India-China relations,” she observed.

Sections of the Chinese state media have linked the Dalai Lama’s visit as India’s comeback to Beijing’s refusal so far to include Masood Azhar, the head of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group in the U.N. ban list, as well as obstruction to New Delhi’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

“New Delhi is dissatisfied with Beijing’s stance over its membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group [NSG] and its request to name Masood Azhar, head of Pakistani militant group, to a U.N. Security Council blacklist. Therefore, Delhi attempts to play the Tibet card against Beijing,” wrote the Global Times.

Long Xingchun, Director of the Center of India Studies, China West Normal University, told The Hindu that the move of allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal is “not helpful for winning China’s support for India’s membership to the NSG and the listing of Masood Azhar in the UN 1267 committee.”

He said that India may have the motive of “reinforcing its legitimacy over the disputed area, with the Dalai Lama as the vehicle.”

When asked for its reaction, the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi referred to its statement a day earlier.

“We clearly said that the Dalai Lama is a revered religious leader and has visited Arunachal earlier on half a dozen occasions. We also urged that no political colour be ascribed to his religious and spiritual activities and to his visits to States of India, and no artificial controversy created around his ongoing visit.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/dalai-lamas-arunachal-visit-will-escalate-dispute-in-border-areas-china/article17829106.ece

The Hindu – Dalai Lama’s Arunachal visit irks China

Warns of ‘serious damage’ to relations with India.

Atul Aneja

Beijing, 4 March 2017. The China-India border dispute came into sharp focus on Friday after the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned New Delhi not to allow the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, the State which is at the heart of the Sino-Indian dispute in the eastern sector.

China’s sharp response against the visit by the Tibetan leader in exile followed a call by a former Chinese boundary negotiator, who stressed that if the two sides managed to overcome their differences in the eastern sector, the final settlement of the boundary dispute would be well within grasp.

“China is gravely concerned over information that India has granted permission to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing.

He warned that an invitation to him to visit Arunachal Pradesh will cause “serious damage” to Sino-Indian ties. “India is fully aware of the seriousness of the Dalai Lama issue and the sensitivity of the China-India border question.

Under such a background if India invites the Dalai Lama to visit the mentioned territory, it will cause serious damage to peace and stability of the border region and China-India relations,” he said.

‘Stick to commitments’

“We have expressed concerns to the Indian side, urged India to stick to its political commitments and abide by important consensus the two sides have reached on the boundary question, refrain from actions that might complicate the issue, not provide a platform to the Dalai clique and protect the sound and stable development of the Sino-India relations,” he said.

The remarks followed the conclusion of the China-India strategic dialogue, led by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar last month.

Mr Geng’s stand came in the wake of the “carrot” offered by Dai Bingguo, a former State Councillor and China’s Special Representative for the boundary talks, that both countries stood at the “gate” of the final settlement, provided they could overcome their differences on the eastern alignment.

The former official signalled that China was likely to reciprocate in the western sector, which includes the disputed Aksai Chin, if India demonstrated flexibility along the eastern boundary.

“If the Indian side takes care of China’s concerns in the eastern sector of their border, the Chinese side will respond accordingly and address India’s concerns elsewhere,” he observed.

The “eastern sector” dispute is over territory south of the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh, which includes Tawang. The McMahon Line was the result of the 1914 Simla Convention, between British India and Tibet, and was rejected by China.

Referring specifically to Tawang, Mr Dai underscored that the “disputed territory in the eastern sector of the China-India boundary, including Tawang, is inalienable from China’s Tibet in terms of cultural background and administrative jurisdiction.”

“From the perspective of international law, the Simla Accord, as well as the ‘McMahon Line’ which it created, are not only unfair and illegitimate, but also illegal and invalid,” he observed.

Mr Dai highlighted that an Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question, that was signed in 2005 has been “fundamental” in advancing the boundary talks.

He said that this agreement pinpointed that the two countries should make “meaningful and mutually acceptable adjustments to their respective positions on the boundary question in order to reach a package settlement.”

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/dalai-lamas-visit-to-arunachal-irks-china/article17404585.ece?homepage=true

Dawn – TTP provides core fighting group for IS: US general

Anwar Iqbal

Washington, 13 February 2017. The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan provides the core fighting group for the militant Islamic State (IS) group as TTP militants in Orakzai tribal agency en masse joined the relatively new terrorist group, says a top US general.

General John Nicholson Jr, the commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, also agreed with a lawmaker that Pakistan’s strong relationship with China and its growing ties with Russia were a cause of concern for the United States.

The general, who commands over 13,000 international troops, 8,400 of them American, appeared before the US Senate Armed Services Committee this week to brief American lawmakers on the current situation in Afghanistan.

He told the panel that the IS, which in Afghanistan was called the Islam State Khorasan Province, comprised fighters mainly from existing militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Primarily, their membership had come from the TTP, which was a Pakistan-based opponent of the Pakistan regime, he said.

The general said TTP militants in Orakzai tribal agency had, en masse, joined the IS-K and formed the initial group of fighters who then moved into Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, spreading out to about 11 districts initially.

“So, the majority of the fighters in the IS right now came from the TTP, the Pakistani Taliban, and joined the banner of the IS,” he added.

General Nicholson agreed with Senator Angus King, a Maine Democrat, that the Pakistan-Afghan region was a fertile ground for terrorism.

“The conditions in this region also lend themselves to the growth of these organisations. These 20 groups sit on top of a population, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, of over 200 million people, 70 per cent of them are under the age of 30. You know, employment is low, there is radical form of Islam,” he said.

“It’s like a Petri dish… into which you drop the 20 strands of DNA of these terrorist groups. And then what we see happening is convergence and growth in connections develop these.”

General Nicholson noted that of the 98 US-designated terrorist groups across the globe, 20 operated in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, along with three violent extremist organisations.

“This is the highest concentration of terrorist groups anywhere in the world, which underscores the importance of our counter-terrorism platform in the Central Asia-South Asia region which protects our homeland,” he said.

General Nicholson told the committee that the war in Afghanistan had come to a “stalemate” but could be won by providing better training and equipment to Afghan national forces.

To do so, he asked for “a few thousands” more troops and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for Afghan air force, which he said was a vital component to breaking the stalemate between Afghan and Taliban forces.

The US government is already considering a proposal to replace Afghanistan’s current fleet of Russian Mi-17s with modified UH-60 Blackhawks, designed to handle the region’s formidable mountainous terrain.

Throughout the hours-long hearing, General Nicholson, as well as some senators, insisted that the war in Afghanistan could not be won without Pakistan’s support, but the general emphasised the need to work with Pakistan to eliminate alleged militant safe havens in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, instead of antagonising it by cutting off US economic and military assistance.

Senator John McCain, who chairs the committee, set the tone of the discussion in his opening statement that “succeeding in Afghanistan will also require a candid evaluation of America’s relationship with Pakistan”.

General Nicholson said he was also concerned about the influence in Afghanistan of certain external actors, particularly Pakistan, Russia and Iran, who “continue to legitimise and support the Taliban”.

These external actors were also undermining the Afghan government’s efforts to create a stable Afghanistan, he added. Yet, he warned against a knee-jerk reaction in this situation, particularly against Pakistan. “Our complex relationship with Pakistan is best assessed through a holistic review,” he said.

The general noted that the Pakistani leadership had articulated its support for the US objective of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan, “but thus far we have not seen this translate into any change in terms of behaviour”.

This lack of support was also visible in the freedom of action given to Taliban or the Haqqani Network to operate from sanctuaries in Pakistan, he said.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1314507/ttp-provides-core-fighting-group-for-is-us-general

Dawn – PM urged to address KP parties’ reservations over CPEC

Khaleeq Kiani

Islamabad, 20 January 2017. The federal government has requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to address reservations of various political parties over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) at an all-party conference (APC) and remove ‘misunderstandings’ about the mega project.

This was decided on Thursday at an inter-provincial meeting on the CPEC held to follow up on the corridor’s joint coordination council (JCC) meeting held in Beijing a few weeks ago.

The APC was proposed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister who explained that although his government was on board the project, several other political parties in his province had reservations over it.

Speaking at a news conference with KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haidar Khan and Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal said the prime minister would convene an all-party conference to address reservations by some political parties in KP.

Mr Khattak said most of the province’s reservations had been addressed. However, some parties had political reservations and the government should satisfy them, he added.

Federal minister insists corridor will have a positive impact on South Asia, believes China has rebuffed India’s objections to the project

Mr Iqbal insisted that the CPEC would have a positive impact on South Asia. “India is suffering from CPEC phobia…this would surely lead to its isolation in this region,” he said, adding that China had rebuffed India’s objections to the project.

“How will India stay away from a project everybody wants to be a part of?” The minister said that several countries, including the United Kingdom, had expressed thier inclination to join the CPEC and advised India to be a part of it too.

Mr Iqbal said that several Indian think tanks had been pressuring their government to benefit from the project.

All provinces expressed full support for the CPEC and agreed to complete their homework on projects approved by the sixth JCC to ensure its speedy and timely implementation. The Pakistani side of the joint working groups would meet soon to finalise new projects in energy, infrastructure and other sectors, he said.

He praised the provincial governments, KP in particular, for expediting work on the CPEC. He said the participants of the meeting had agreed that along with projects in the infrastructure and energy sector, a procedure of industrialisation would be finalised to ensure maximum benefits from the CPEC.

Mr Iqbal said certain elements were trying to spread misconceptions about the project and were hatching conspiracies to derail the harmony between Pakistan and China. “All reservations by federating units have been addressed and everyone is now working for success of this project,” he added.

In reply to a question, he said it was illogical to assume that a large number of expensive Chinese workers would come to Pakistan and fill up the job market. He said Pakistani labourers and engineers would get more than half of the jobs under the CPEC. Thousands of Pakistani engineers and workers already had jobs in various CPEC projects, he added.

The KP chief minister said his government would organise a road show in March in China to attract investment in agriculture, mining and tourism sectors.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1309525/pm-urged-to-address-kp-parties-reservations-over-cpec