Beijing, Jan.16 (ANI): Former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently on a visit to China, has said that his country has every right to carry out 'development' work in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
"Pakistan has the right to carry out development activities in Kashmir and establish economic cooperation with China for the region's development," The Daily Times quoted Sharif, as saying.
It may be noted that India had raised strong objections to China's involvement in various projects in PoK, saying Beijing should cease all its activities in the region.
"India believes that Pakistan has been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947. The Chinese side is fully aware of India's position and our concerns about Chinese activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir," the Ministry of External Affairs spokesman had said.
Referring to New Delhi's objections, Sharif criticised India for objecting to the development work being carried out in PoK.
"The criticism is not fair. It is the basic right and requirement of Pakistanis in the Kashmir region to benefit from such projects and no one can deprive them of these rights," Sharif said.
The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) chief said Islamabad was thankful to China for its support to Pakistan on the long pending Kashmir issue.
India is objecting to various Chinese funded projects in PoK namely Neelum Jhelum project, Diamer Bhasha Dam , Extension of Karakoram Highway, Sost Dry Port and Bunji Dam to name a few. (ANI)