Instead of feeling threatened by the idea of a corridor linking India with Europe via the Middle-East, Pakistan should try and become a part of the project, says Professor Ijaz Khan.
The former professor of International Relations at University of Peshawar while speaking on Naya Daur TV’s flagship programme Khabar Say Aagay (Beyond the Headlines) was of the view that there was no reason to act insecure about the corridor proposed at G20 Summit in India because the project was at a very early stage and Pakistan should find ways to become a part of the project since it was clearly going to benefit from all the trade taking place in the region.
“Maybe in a few years, this new corridor will be overlapping with China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). There will be competition but also supplementation. We don’t need to view it negatively. Even if we don’t get to be a part of this corridor, we still shouldn’t be criticising it because it also has the Middle East in it and criticising it would mean offending Saudi Arabia,” Ijaz Khan said.
Raza Rumi, who was hoisting the show, agreed with Prof. Ijaz Khan, saying Pakistan couldn’t afford to offend Saudi Arabia at any cost.
Senior journalist Kamran Yousaf, who reports on foreign affairs for The Express Tribune, said that Pakistan’s Foreign Office hadn’t given any reaction to the announcement of the India-Middle-East-Europe corridor and in his weekly briefing, the FO spokesperson said that Pakistan wasn’t a member of the G20.
He added that Pakistan was relying heavily on Saudi Arabia and UAE for its economic revival as mentioned by the army chief too in his meetings with the businessmen in Karachi and Lahore. “The army chief had reportedly said that Pakistan was expecting investments worth 70-billion US dollars from Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the coming years and if that’s what our objective is, we’re in no position to publicly oppose this corridor,” Yousaf said.
Yousaf added that denying the fact that the Western interested were aligning with India would be pointless. It’s true that there are question marks on India’s treatment of its minorities and the human rights situation in the Kashmir valley but, Kamran Yousaf added, while the US calls itself the champion of human rights, and so does Europe, they will ignore Modi’s domestic record if their own interest is jeopardised by highlighting his violations of human rights.
Beyond the Headlines is hosted by Raza Rumi at 9 PM Monday-Saturday.