The discomfort of India from the beginning of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has been very evident. In the last few years, Pakistan has witnessed rigorous diplomatic attempts on part of our neighbouring country to not isolate Pakistan but also join the bandwagon accusing Pakistan of not playing a significant role in the war on terror despite the amount of lives we have lost and the numerous military operations which have reduced the terror threats to a bare minimum. The recent bone of contention linked with CPEC is the launch of the CPEC passenger bus on November 3 between Lahore and Kashghar.

The Indian authorities have registered a complaint with both Pakistan and China claiming that the route passes through the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, however, the Chinese officials have rightfully pointed out that the bus service is a part of the CPEC project and is not related in any manner to the dispute over Kashmir between Pakistan and India. Right now, the situation is such that Pakistan has been long pushing for a bilateral solution between the two countries after India’s successive rejection of any foreign involvement in the dispute. However, that too does not translate into any concrete action.

Along with that, while India tries to diplomatically assert itself regarding the CPEC negotiations, pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory, it skips the fact that the country not only violates the ceasefire ordered by the United Nations (UN). Recently, a civilian was shot dead in cross-border firing and these losses of innocent lives are in no manner justified. At the same time, a recent member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), neglects its own human rights violations in the Kashmir valley where the citizens of their own country are losing lives every day.

This protest by India is just another attempt to jeopardise the mega-scale project which lies in Pakistan’s territory. The passenger bus is being launched to strengthen ties and efficiently manage the cross-border movement of the residents of both countries. With mega-scale projects such as these, bus services are a complementary initiative because public transport is an important aspect of development which will help manage the influx of traffic.