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October 12, 2018

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CPEC projects not being reviewed: FO

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office of Pakistan on Thursday categorically said that CPEC projects were not being reviewed but third parties were welcome to make investments.

Addressing the weekly briefing here, spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement about the CPEC projects was taken out of context.

Pakistan has held discussions about the possibility of Saudi Arabia investing in projects under the CPEC. On Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in the CPEC, the spokesperson said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had held discussions on the matter.

Speaking on $5 billion deal by India to buy S-400 Russian air defense system, the spokesperson said Pakistan was strongly against the ongoing arms race in the region but remained alert and ready to defend itself.

“We are opposed to an arms race in South Asia and have been proposing measures for promoting restraint in both the nuclear and conventional domains. However, we cannot remain oblivious to these developments and are firmly committed to maintaining credible minimum deterrence by taking any measures, as necessary. Let me assure you that Pakistan is fully confident of its ability to do so. In case of any external threat, we and our forces are ready to give a befitting response,” he said.

Recently, the US appears to have accepted a waiver for India on sanctions it has imposed on Russia in areas of defense and intelligence sectors. India has dared to still go ahead when during the recent visit of President Putin to New Delhi the agreement was signed where the new system should be in place by 2020.

The spokesman also sent a warning that all those countries who were arming India with these latest weapons should keep mind that the balance of power in the region was not disturbed. While both Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj are presently in Dushanbe to attend the 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), no meeting between the two is likely.

“Pakistan has not shied away from talks with India and is open to discuss all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, Siachen and terrorism,” the spokesman said. He said the people of Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) had rejected the election drama staged by India.

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