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Will Sharif's ouster hit China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project?

By Vicky
Google Oneindia News

The outer of Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister of Pakistan will not affect the 50 billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, China has said.

Will Sharif's ouster hit China-Pakistan

"We believe that the China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership will not be affected by the change of the situation inside Pakistan," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang was quoted by Pakistan's state-run APP news agency as saying.

Terming the Supreme Court judgement against Sharif over the Panama Papers scandal as Pakistan's "internal affairs", he said, "the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan has withstood the test of time". He urged political parties in Pakistan to unite for its national interest.

"As a friendly neighbour, China hopes that all parties and sections in Pakistan can prioritise state and national interests, properly deal with their domestic affairs, maintain unity and stability, and keep focusing on the economic and social development," Lu said.

Meanwhile, a report in Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said that China has been assured by Pakistan's powerful military and politicians that its investments in the CPEC would not be disrupted by Sharif's fall, "even though some of its investments could come under the widening corruption probe".

Despite the assurances it has received, the Supreme Court's ruling has put China in a "peculiar position", Arif Rafiq, non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute, a US think tank, told the Post.

Sharif stepped down after the Supreme Court disqualified him for failing to declare "receivable" salary from a UAE- based company of his son in his 2013 nomination paper. The court termed the salary which was not paid to Sharif as an "asset".

"The Chinese are treading into new waters: this is the first civilian government in Islamabad Beijing has fully invested in. (But) while the Communist Party of China is deeply leveraged in the civilian government, military-to- military ties also continue to strengthen," Rafiq said.
"Nonetheless, some CPEC projects are bound to be investigated because of existing allegations of corruption linked to the Sharifs," he said.

OneIndia News

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