Uprooting corruption, poverty alleviation top priorities, PM Khan says in China

Published November 4, 2018
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses Chinese officials at the Central Party School in Beijing.— DawnNewsTV
Prime Minister Imran Khan addresses Chinese officials at the Central Party School in Beijing.— DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said that uprooting corruption and bringing people out of poverty are the top priorities of his government.

PM Khan while delivering a speech at the Central Party School in Beijing hailed the bilateral cooperation between the countries.

Talking about his political journey, the premier said that he began his career as a cricketer before he entered politics.

"Pakistan at one point was an example for the developing world. In the 1960s we had quality universities. We had the highest growth rate. Our first five-year plan was emulated by South Korea and Malaysia," he said, adding that unfortunately the nation lost its way due to corruption of the ruling elite.

He said that countries are poor not because of a lack of resources but due to the corruption of the elite, because it destroys state institutions.

PM Khan came down hard on money laundering and termed it the worst kind of corruption. "In my opinion, one of the biggest problem the world faces today is money laundering," he added.

"Pakistan, unfortunately, after the mid-80s started suffering from corruption," he said, adding that at that time, he was playing cricket.

He said that after he retired from cricket, he decided to join politics and the main agenda of his party was to combat corruption.

Take a look: China says willing to help Pakistan over fiscal crisis but more talks needed

The prime minister maintained that initially his party was ignored by masses and it was after his 2011 visit to China when the party started gaining popularity.

Currently, he said, his main concern was strengthening institutions. "The stronger the state institutions, the lesser the corruption," PM Khan said.

Talking about poverty alleviation, the prime minister said that a country can't progress with glaring inequality in society. "This is where we admire China so much. No country in human history, has ever taken 700 million people out of poverty in 30 years as China has done," he said, adding that the steps taken to that [effect] is what his party and his government were interested in.

He hailed Chinese leadership and thanked the country for her cooperation with Pakistan on various occasions. PM Khan highlighted that Beijing provided Islamabad with an opportunity, in the shape of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to attract the much needed foreign investments.

China and Pakistan also renewed their friendship pledge today and agreed to further strengthen bilateral strategic cooperation and their partnership, according to a Joint Statement issued on Sunday.

According to the joint statement, the two sides agreed to take concrete measures to address the trade imbalance between the countries.

They expressed satisfaction at the operationalisation of the currency-swap agreement.

Beijing and Islamabad also agreed to further enhance cooperation against “three evils” of extremism, terrorism and separatism.

The Pakistani side reaffirmed its support to the Chinese side in safeguarding its sovereignty and security, and combating separatism, terrorism and extremism, including the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

Read more here: Pak, China Joint Statement speaks of expansion in ties, no mention of 'immediate support'

During the visit, the two sides also signed 15 agreements and MoUs on a range of bilateral issues.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is in China on his first official at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. He met Chinese President Xi Jinping and Keqiang, and held a meeting with Chinese business leaders as well.

PM to address China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai

Following his visit to Beijing, PM Khan arrived in Shanghai to attend the First China International Import Expo where he shall address the opening ceremony of the Expo as keynote speaker on November 5, according to a Twitter notification posted by PTI's official account.

Upon his arrival, the premier was received by Vice Mayor of Shanghai Peng Chenlei.

PM Khan will hold meetings with other world leaders on the sidelines of the event.

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