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Updated 10:35 AM EDT, Thu, Apr 18, 2019

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Pakistani MPs Fear China-Pakistan Economic Corridor may Offer Trade Gains to India

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

(Photo : Getty Images) According to a leading Pakistani newspaper, the Chinese backed CPEC project may end up offering trade benefits to its arch rival India.

The $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been plagued with controversies ever since its inception. Although these controversies have never hindered construction work, they have certainly created shadow of uncertainty over the multibillion dollar project.

Now a new controversy has cropped up that is likely to rake up passionate views across Pakistan on CPEC project.

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According to a leading newspaper Dawn, a group of legislature from Pakistan National Assembly (PNA) expressed concern in a recent senate meeting that this economic corridor project may end up yielding benefit to its arch rival India.  

"Irrespective of sour India-Pakistan, China will definitely use CPEC to expand its trade with India because one who invests always watches one's interests first," Member of National Assembly Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi said in a senate meeting.

Mashhadi backed his claim by saying that China's trade relations with India were far bigger than Pakistan and also Beijing may look to capitalize improved road and rail links with India.

However, Mashhadi and other MNA's concerns stand completely in contrast with constant security fears expressed by the Indian government over this multibillion dollar project. New Delhi says that it has serious reservation over this project, since a major part of its infrastructure passes through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Indian defense experts claim that China wants to enhance its footprint in South Asia through the CPEC project. This claim is apparently accepted by most ministers within the Indian government. This dominant view largely led to signing of Chabahar Port project with Iran earlier this year.      

The construction work over Chabahar Port, though, is yet to begin, with media reports suggesting that the work may not commence anytime sooner.

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