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PPP wants debate in Senate over US defense secretary statement about CPEC

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday submitted a motion in the Senate Secretariat calling for debate over US Defense Secretary James Mattis’ statement about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Mattis had last week informed the Congress that the One Belt, One Road goes through disputed territory.

Senator Sehar Kamran filed the motion, saying the US defense secretary’s statement is aimed to sabotage the CPEC project.

Earlier on Saturday, Foreign Office spokesperson said the CPEC is a development and connectivity project, which is aimed at the betterment of the people in the region and beyond.

Speaking to media, the spokesperson said the international community should focus on human rights violations and the use of brute force against innocent Kashmiris in India Occupied Kashmir.

He said efforts were needed to ensure implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kahsmir that called for a UN supervised plebiscite to enable Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination.

The US defense secretary’s statement came at a time when the ties between the two countries are going through crucial time following President Donald Trump accusing Islamabad of providing safe haven to “agents of chaos.”

Trump will dispatch his top diplomatic and military advisers to Pakistan in the coming weeks, turning up the heat on the nuclear-armed US ally.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to arrive Pakistan late this month. He will be followed by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, according to the US and Pakistani sources.

“We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” Trump said in an August address.

But in the six weeks since Trump signaled that tougher tone, there have been precious few signs that the calculus in South Asia has changed.

Mattis told Congress this week that he will try “one more time” to “see if we can make this work.”



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