New Delhi/Islamabad, Mar 23: Pakistan on Friday asked India to stop criticising the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and take benefit from it. Pakistan Minister of Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal asserted that the CPEC was a purely economic development project that would benefit the region, including China and Pakistan. Also Read - ICC Test Rankings - Virat Kohli Retains Fifth Place, Rishabh Pant Breaks Into Top 10

“India should benefit from the project rather than pursue unnecessary criticism,” Ahsan Iqbal said while addressing a press conference, reported Dawn. The minister added that India’s reaction to the CPEC was negative and it would soon realise that the project was beneficial and would bring prosperity to the region. He emphasised on strengthening cooperation to maintain peace in the region. Also Read - Man Sells 2-Year-Old Son For Rs 18 Lakh, Uses Money to Go on Holiday With His New Wife

“The resolution of the issues don’t lie in tensions and disputes among regional countries. India holds the key to peace in South Asia and the region cannot progress without cooperation,” Iqbal said. On Pakistan-China ties, the minister wrote on Twitter, “It is always said that Pakistan and China’s friendship is higher than the Himalayas. With the new cooperation of CPEC, we must now change the idiom and say that Pakistan and China friendship is higher than the stars.” Also Read - Chinese Government's Social Media Post Mocking India's COVID-19 Crisis Backfires, Deleted

The 3,000-km-long CPEC is aimed at connecting China and Pakistan with rail, road, pipelines and optical cable fibre network. It connects China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan’s Gwadar port in the volatile Balochistan where Baloch nationalists have staged a number of attacks. India strongly objects to the route of the corridor, which goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. In January, China said it was ready to talk to India over its concerns on the CPEC.