GWADAR, PAKISTAN —
Pakistan's military chief on Tuesday accused India's intelligence agency of planning subversive activities against his country's recently launched multi-billion-dollar economic cooperation agreement with China.
"I must highlight that India, our immediate neighbor, has openly challenged this development initiative," army chief General Raheel Sharif told a conference in the port city of Gwadar.
The newly built port in southwestern Baluchistan province is central to the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, which is a package of railroads, highways, pipelines and power plants estimated to cost $46 billion.
Sharif said "hostile intelligence agencies" are averse to this grand project, but that Pakistan is determined to protect and develop the CPEC, connecting western China to the Arabian Sea.
"I would like to make a special reference to Indian Intelligence Agency RAW [Research and Analysis Wing] that is blatantly involved in destabilizing Pakistan,” the general asserted.
History of suspicion
Pakistan has long accused India of training and funding separatist militants waging a low-level insurgency in Baluchistan.
Last month, Pakistani authorities announced they captured a suspected Indian spy in Baluchistan, identified as Kulbhushan Jadhav. The military also aired video footage of Jadhav saying he was working out of his base in Chabahar in neighboring Iran.
New Delhi has confirmed that Jadhav is a former Indian navy officer, but denied he has anything to do with RAW, saying he had taken early retirement from the military. It also rejected the video confession of Jadhav as induced by torture.
India says it has sought consular access to its detained national, but Pakistan has not yet responded.
Sharif described CPEC as a corridor of peace and prosperity, not only for the people of Pakistan and China, but also for the region and beyond.
"Therefore, it is important for all to leave behind confrontation, and focus on cooperation," he added.