CPEC development projects facing threat from India — Pakistani military

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director general Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar speaks during a press conference at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi on Feb. 27, 2020. (Photo courtesy: ISPR/File)
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Updated 04 December 2020

CPEC development projects facing threat from India — Pakistani military

  • Major General Babar Iftikhar says much of the 'fake news' against the security institutions of the country can be traced back to Indian social media accounts
  • The military spokesperson warns the international community that any change to the balance of power in South Asia will be 'disastrous' for everyone

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's military spokesperson, Major General Babar Iftikhar, said on Thursday that India had ratcheted up its anti-Pakistan campaign in military, diplomatic, information and economic spheres since it was fearful of Pakistan's positive trajectory and considered the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a threat to itself.
In an interview to a local online publication, he said that CPEC was not just about "north-south connectivity" to consolidate the interests of Beijing and Islamabad but also sought to integrate the whole region and make Pakistan its economic hub.
"Somewhere Indians decided that there is a timeline beyond which this project becomes irreversible," he told Global Village Space. "They feel that the progress of this project must be retarded as much as possible so that it doesn't cross that timeline and can somehow be reversed."
The military spokesperson said that the security threat around the corridor project had increased, though he also maintained that Islamabad had provided the world sufficient evidence of India's sponsorship of terrorism through a newly unveiled dossier that was "taken very seriously by the international community."
Asked if Pakistan had taken up the issue of Indian terror training camps in Afghanistan with the administration in Kabul, he said: "We have always acknowledged that the Afghan government has capacity issues. That is also the reason why we never really blamed them for what is happening from the Afghan soil. However, we keep sharing such information with them — it's a regular thing — and have also shared the information in the dossier at appropriate levels."
Iftikhar maintained that India had launched a disinformation campaign against Pakistan, saying that much of the "fake news" against the country and its security institutions could be traced back to Indian social media accounts.
"It is a major challenge, especially what is happening on social media," he said. "However, the best way to handle this is transparency, the best way to handle this is to not leave any information voids, the best way to handle this is to pass on credible information, and that is exactly what we are trying to do here."
"Pakistan is subjected to the fifth-generation warfare and we are aware of that," he continued.
Asked about India's military spending and its recent defense deal with the United States, the military spokesperson said: "The international community has to understand that any major disturbance in balance of power in South Asia will not only be a major disaster for the region but also for the rest of the world. This balance of power must be maintained at every level. The more it is disturbed the more it gets dangerous."


Pakistan says ‘entitled’ to 20 million CanSino doses if vaccine effective

Updated 30 min 25 sec ago

Pakistan says ‘entitled’ to 20 million CanSino doses if vaccine effective

  • Health chief says Pakistan’s first Phase 3 clinical trial for CanSino’s candidate, Ad5-nCoV, was nearly complete 
  • Says more than a million doses of China’s Sinopharm’s vaccin expected in March. 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s de facto health chief said this week a Phase 3 clinical trial for a potential vaccine being developed by China’s CanSino Biologics was nearly complete and Pakistan would get 20 million doses if the vaccine turned out to be “effective.”
Pakistan’s clinical trial for CanSino’s candidate, Ad5-nCoV, led by the government-run National Institute of Health (NIH) along with pharmaceutical company AJM — the local representative of CanSino — started in September.

FILE PHOTO: Vials of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate, a recombinant adenovirus vaccine named Ad5-nCoV, co-developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics Inc and a team led by Chinese military infectious disease expert, are pictured in Wuhan, Hubei province, China March 24, 2020. (Reuters/File)

Dr. Faisal Sultan, the health adviser, told reporters on Wednesday the trials, in which 17,500 people had participated, were “near completion.” Pakistan has a population of over 220 million people.
“Their results will come soon,” he told a press conference. “The statistical analysis of the [CanSino] vaccine has started and we expect results at the beginning of February. Pakistan is entitled to 20 million doses on the condition that the vaccine is effective.”
Earlier this month, Sultan said Pakistan was speaking to a number of vaccine makers, and the country could get “in the range of tens of millions” of vaccine doses under an agreement with CanSinoBio.
Earlier this month, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use in Pakistan, making it the first coronavirus vaccine to get the green light for use in the South Asian country.
Sultan also said more than a million doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine from China were expected in in March.