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Indian scholar urges India to participate in Belt and Road Initiative

Xinhua, April 21, 2017 Adjust font size:

A noted Indian scholar Friday urged India to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative for the interests of India and its neighboring countries.

Speaking at a seminar here on the Belt and Road Initiative, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chairman of Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Mumbai, said that the Belt and Road Initiative provides an opportunity for win-win cooperation between India and China, and the cooperation is both trust-promoting and development-promoting.

"We are firmly of the view that India should participate in the Belt and Road Initiative for our own benefit and for the benefit of our neighbors," Kulkarni said.

"Isolation does not help India, " he added.

He also urged India to "welcome and support" the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as "it has the potential to contribute hugely to Pakistan's development and prosperity."

"India has a crucial stake in Pakistan's development and prosperity, because Pakistan's prosperity can be an opportunity for India, just as India's prosperity can be an opportunity for Pakistan," he said.

In India's own interests, it is important for India to join CPEC, he said. He also suggested that the CPEC should be connected further to Afghanistan, Iran and other countries in the region.

He called on India to take the lead in building a modern infrastructure connectivity between CPEC and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

Both in the context of India-China relations, and India's relations with other neighbors, the time has come to question whether considerations of security and geopolitical strategy should completely override and nullify opportunities of development and cooperation, he said.

The ORF, a leading non-profit and independent public policy think tank in India, conducts research and advocacy in a wide range of domestic and international issues. Endit