Never considered Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir final : China

Beijing referred to its 54-year-old agreement with Islamabad to drive home the point that it had recognised Pakistan’s claim on the disputed territory only as an interim measure, considering that a resolution of the row over Kashmir was still pending.

China put forward the argument as a last-ditch attempt to persuade India to stop opposing OBOR ahead of a conclave of foreign leaders that Chinese President Xi Jinping is going to host in Beijing on May 14 and 15, to gather support for his ambitious cross-continental connectivity initiative.

Sources told DH that Beijing recently pointed out to New Delhi that the 1963 border agreement with Pakistan had “accommodated the concerns” of India.

Twenty eight heads of states and heads of governments will attend the conclave in Beijing, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be among them.

New Delhi has not yet committed its support to OBOR, mainly because it is opposed to one of its key components — the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The corridor will pass through areas that India claims to be an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir in India, despite their illegal occupation by Pakistan. New Delhi said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will infringe upon the sovereignty of India.

The pact Beijing signed with Islamabad in 1963 was titled ‘Agreement Between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Pakistan on the Boundary Between China’s Xinjiang and the Contiguous Areas the Defence of Which is Under the Actual Control of Pakistan”.

The Article 6 of the agreement said that when India and Pakistan settle the Kashmir dispute, “the sovereign authority concerned would reopen negotiations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China, on the boundary as described in Article Two of the present Agreement, so as to sign a formal Boundary Treaty to replace the present agreement.”

During recent diplomatic contacts, Beijing conveyed to New Delhi that the title and Article 6 of its 1963 agreement with Islamabad clearly showed that China not only recognised the row over Kashmir as an issue of territorial dispute between India and Pakistan, but also remained open to negotiate the agreement after India and Pakistan settled the dispute, sources in New Delhi told the DH.

By: Deccan Herald

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