KARACHI: The Azad Kashmir-Sinkiang border demarcation agreement appears to be the first step towards improving this country’s relations with the People’s Republic of China.

“There may be other proposals which are being considered,” Foreign Secretary S. K. Dehlavi said here yesterday. “Our great Asian neighbour,” China, has expressed a desire to improve relations with Pakistan. “We welcome this,” Mr Dehlavi told a news conference. “Our relations with China are friendly.”

He said: “There may not be a specific proposal for a treaty of friendship, but if such a proposal comes, we shall consider it most sympathetically, because it will be in line with our policy of improving relations with our neighbours, particularly neighbours who want to improve relations with us.” Pakistan has no official information of an offer of aid from China, the foreign secretary added.

Referring to the joint press note issued earlier in the month on the Sino-Pakistan agreement for demarcation of the Azad Kashmir-Sinkiang border, Mr Dehlavi said: “China looks upon the Kashmir case as a dispute between India and Pakistan, and expects a satisfactory settlement of this dispute. This is also our attitude.” He was answering a question whether Pakistan had tried to find out China’s views on the dispute.

He referred another questioner to the press note when he asked if Pakistan had accepted the Chinese stand that the border in question had never been delimited. “You have the answer there,” he remarked. He told a questioner, who wanted to know as to when border maps will be exchanged between the two countries, that the matter was being actively pursued. — Special Representative

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