ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Wednesday suggested that Pakistan and China enhance parliamentary linkages and increase cooperation on foreign policy matters.
He was addressing a delegation of Chinese parliamentarians led by Yu Zhengsheng, chairperson of the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The delegation, on the invitation of Mr Rabbani, is on a two-day visit to Pakistan.
Addressing the Chinese parliamentarians at the Parliament House, the Senate chairman said that Pakistan and China were close friends, neighbours and trusted partners and expressed the hope that the visit would provide the two countries an opportunity to strengthen their relations.
He said that Pakistan backed the One China Policy and supported China on all its core issues. “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can play a major role in the development of both countries. Pakistan deeply values China’s support on issues of its national security and territorial integrity and strategic partnership between the two is an anchor for regional peace and stability,” Mr Rabbani said.
The Senate chairman stressed the need for greater cultural exchange and people-to-people contact to strengthen cordial relations between the two countries. He said that terrorism was the biggest threat to regional peace and stability and suggested collective efforts to overcome the menace.
While talking about regional politics, he said that Asia should adopt a policy to address its issues and reduce dependency on the West to solve its regional and economic issues.
Mr Rabbani said that the Pakistan-China strategic partnership could go a long way towards ensuring the economic and social development of the region.
He said that Pakistan appreciated China’s unwavering support on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir where Indian-occupied forces had been committing human rights violations.
He stressed the need for carrying the momentum of parliamentary exchanges forward as close cooperation between the two parliaments would strengthen ties.
He said parliamentary diplomacy could help improve understanding of matters of mutual concerns as several issues could be settled when parliamentarians met.
The Senate chairman added that Pakistan and China enjoyed close parliamentary linkages. “We have established a Pakistan-China Friendship Group in our parliament. This group can play a crucial role in further cementing ties,” he added.
Regarding the two countries’ economic ties, Mr Rabbani said that relations between Pakistan and China were growing well and there was a need to create balance in the trade volume.
He said that Pakistan was fully committed to ensuring the timely and effective implementation of projects under the CPEC. He termed it a win-win project and said that there was broad consensus in Pakistan that the CPEC would help uplift the economic conditions of Pakistan as well as the entire region.
Earlier, the delegation visited the monument of Unsung Heroes of Democracy to pay homage to their sacrifices.
They also visited Gali-e-Dastoor where they were briefed on the political and constitutional history of Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2017