Islamabad: At a time when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to Ladakh, amid the ongoing standoff between Indian and Chinese forces, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has reaffirmed Islamabad’s extended support to China’s “One China Policy”, along with a complete alliance against India.
Qureshi held a brief telephonic conversation with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday, immediately after Modi concluded his visit to Ladakh.
As per an official press release, “bilateral, regional, and international issues were discussed” with Islamabad underscoring that the two countries are “All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partners”, who are facing “common challenges”.
Beijing’s ‘One China Policy’ has its core interests in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, while the multi-billion dollar Silk Route, part of which is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), making Pakistan’s support and the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Ladakh sensitively important.
Pakistan’s open support to Beijing is certainly in line with the concerns New Delhi and Washington have raised over the increasing presence of China in the region along the CPEC belt, stretched from Gwadar Port to Gilgit-Baltistan.
Islamabad has been open in siding with China when it comes to countering the threat it faces from mutual rival India, a point Qureshi re-asserted during his telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart.
“Foreign Minister Qureshi underscored that regional security situation was deteriorating and underlined that India’s belligerent posture and expansionist policies were imperilling peace in the region,” read a press release from Pakistan Foreign Office.
“Apart from committing egregious violations of human rights in IOJ&K, India was seeking to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. The Foreign Minister also briefed about the repeated violations committed by India across the LOC as well as targeted killing of the civilians. In the face of Indian provocations, Pakistan was exercising restraint,” Qureshi maintained.
Earlier in the day, the Indian Prime Minister was on a visit to Ladakh, his first visit after the India-China standoff.
Modi did not mention China in his speech to the troops, but his gestures and words were loud and clear, cautioning Beijing over its desire of “expansionism”.
“Age of expansionism is over, this is the age of development. History is witness that expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back,” Modi said in his address to troops in Ladakh.
While Modi’s message to China is a cautious intimation, Pakistan is keeping a very close eye on the developments in the region. China’s presence in Ladakh will need Islamabad’s support to sustain and Islamabad is extending every support to ensure New Delhi remains challenged.