Lahore - Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal has said US defence secretary’s remarks on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) showed ill-intention and the Trump administration is unhappy with the project.

“The One Belt, One Road also goes through disputed territory, and I think that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate,” US Defence Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“The One Belt, One Road is against devastation caused by war and menace of terrorism. Regional states can get economic benefit from this project,” the interior minister said in an interview with a private TV channel while reacting to US secretary’s statement on Saturday.

“Towing a specific line, the US wants to influence this project,” he said and insisted that Washington should welcome economic benefits of this project instead of fearing it.

Calling for national cohesion, the interior minister urged political forces to forge unity and prove political wisdom so that external elements could not cash in on political instability in the country. “We should think as to why the world is against CPEC and which type of agenda the US is pursuing in the region. We should also think about Trump’s Afghan policy and reservations showed by James Mattis ,” he said.

Ahsan said rule of law should be ensured for development and prosperity of the country. All national institutions were effectively working under the constitution, he said.

The minister said the previous Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government had completed its tenure due to cooperation of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

He said the PML-N government has launched mega project China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which was a game changer for the country.

He said the government would fully implement National Action Plan (NAP). Incidents of terrorism had decreased to a great extent due to step and concrete measures of the incumbent government.

Replying to a question, he said no grouping was reported in PML-N and all party leaders were united under the leadership of Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Separately, Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan said Pakistan wants reality-based relations with the United States and to work jointly against terrorism.

In an interview, he said Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has clearly presented Pakistan’s stance in the United States. He said the US army has failed to restore peace in Afghanistan and now wants safe exit but it is blaming others for its failure.

Dastgir said it is needed to assure US that India is still an existing threat for Pakistan. He said Pakistan is fencing its western border to secure it and Afghanistan should also do the same, otherwise terrorism would not be controlled properly in Afghanistan.