NEW DELHI: China declared that the SCO anti-terror exercise in which both Indian and Pakistani forces are participating will not only improve relations between the two nations, but also help Sino-Indian ties.
In a significant statement, the state-run Global Times also said most of the frequent terrorist attacks in India “come from or are supported by Pakistan-based terrorist groups.”
“Over seven decades, the two countries have paid a high price for their conflict but haven’t been able to resolve it. Since they both possess nuclear weapons, it’s impossible for them to resolve disputes through war. They can either resolve the border dispute in a pragmatic manner or shelve it for later generations to deal with,” said the editorial.
Expressing optimism over the recent exchanges between PM Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, it argued that “improvement in India-Pakistan relations can help reduce terror attacks in the two countries.”It said India regarded China-Pakistan friendship as an obstacle to its ties with China, “believing that Beijing is using Islamabad to restrain India”. “New Delhi sees China’s support to Pakistan’s military and economy as a threat, and it strongly opposes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).”
“Better India-Pakistan relations can help improve Sino-Indian ties. And a normal China-India-Pakistan relationship will promote China’s economic cooperation with South Asia so that the CPEC may be upgraded to China-South Asia economic corridor. China and India will be more confident in the “two plus one” format in South Asia.”
Noting that the SCO is a new platform for counter-terrorism talks between the two countries, the Global Times said improved India-Pakistan relations would benefit Afghanistan by bringing more stability.
Welcoming the “admission” that Pakistan was behind terror attacks, a senior diplomat noted that the main reason for China’s eagerness to bridge the India-Pakistan row is the CPEC, which loses a lot of its lustre because of New Delhi’s opposition. “And frankly, do we really need China to confirm the fact that Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism not just against India, but globally?”