ISLAMABAD: In recognition of China’s diplomatic and material support to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism, the Pakistani leadership has expressed gratitude and hopes to continue strengthening economic and institutional linkages between the two countries.
In separate meetings, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed prospects of bilateral ties with Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of Chinese Peoples’ Political Consultative Conference, and a high-level delegation of Chinese parliamentarians during their stay in Islamabad.
Talking to the delegation at PM House on Thursday, the prime minister said that the visit would establish institutional linkages between parliamentarians of both countries.
“I am looking forward to my visit to China in May 2017, to participate in the Belt and Road Forum at the invitation of President Xi Jinping,” said Mr Sharif.
The premier said the forum would provide an opportunity for discussing important areas of connectivity, infrastructure, trade, finance, people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between think tanks, not only between Pakistan and China but on a global scale.
Mr Yu expressed the hope that the parliamentary exchange between the two countries would steer the brotherly relations forward.
While talking to the delegation at the presidency on Thursday, President Hussain said that under operations Zarb-i-Azb and Raddul Fasaad, Pakistan was taking indiscriminate action against terrorist outfits, including East Turkestan Islamic Movement, and producing positive results, adding that strong defence ties between Pakistan and China would ensure peace and stability in the region.
Noting how the whole world had acknowledged China’s ‘One Belt-One Road’ vision, he said various countries evinced keen interest in linking up with CPEC to reap dividends from the project.
Mr Hussain stressed friendship with China was one of the cornerstones of Pakistan’s foreign policy which was based on mutual respect. “Pakistan supports ‘One China Policy’ and backs China’s stance on Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and South China Sea,” he said.
Highlighting the benefits the other countries could accrue from CPEC project, Mr Yu said, “China and Pakistan desire to involve the whole world in the process of progress and those countries will soon be left alone which ignore the international community for their vested interests.”
He expressed the hope that Pakistan would not only overcome loadshedding but it would become self-sufficient in power generation as China offered machinery and technology required for infrastructure of power generation.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2017
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