India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan and China over a proposed bus service set to be launched between Lahore and Kashgar, a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China’s far west that borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), calling it a violation of “India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
As per reports, state-owned media in Pakistan has reported that the bus service will be launched this week and a private transport company will run buses through Lahore and Kashghar 4-days a week, tickets for which are already being sold.
The project is scheduled to be launched soon under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. The so-called ‘CPEC’ is a key project under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s pet Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). India has not joined the BRI on the grounds that it does not respect other countries’ territorial integrity and has put participating countries under debt traps and has openly declared not to endorse the project in many international platforms.
India has shown serious resentment over the fact that the route passes through Pok as it maintains that PoK is an Indian territory.
Pakistan doesn’t share a border with China. So, Islamabad’s only link to Beijing is through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, responded to the media by saying, “We have lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan on the proposed bus service that will operate through Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir under the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.” He furthered, “It is the government of India’s consistent and well-known position that the so-called China-Pakistan ‘boundary agreement’ of 1963 is illegal and invalid, and has never been recognised by the Government of India.”