ISLAMABAD: Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Tuesday expressed the hope that the situation between India and Pakistan would not escalate further and instead move towards peace and stability.
Ambassador Yao said during a meeting with Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza that China was hopeful that the situation between India and Pakistan would move towards peace, according to a statement issued by the IPC ministry.
It said Dr Mirza appreciated the ambassador’s principled stance on the recent escalation between the two nuclear powers.
The meeting discussed matters pertaining to the minister’s forthcoming visit to China regarding the Pak-China Year of Friendship Sister Cities 2019.
Ambassador Yao highlighted the importance of the minister’s visit and said 2019 has been declared the Year of Local Friendship. The minister’s visit will mark the formal beginning of cooperation and relations at the provincial and local government level.
He said provincial and local government from either side are coming together for the first time under the IPC umbrella.
Dr Mirza said initiatives taken at the local government level in both countries would be very helpful in establishing people to people contact in real terms.
She noted that despite many memorandums of understanding being signed in the past, very little has been tangibly achieved so far. She said the government was focused on results-oriented ideas and it is important that local governments are engaged in practical and doable projects.
According to the statement, both sides agreed to develop a channel of communication and exchange the list of areas of interest for further cooperation, along with project details including timeframe and budget through the Ministry of IPC.
Once these linkages are established, provincial and local governments will be dealing directly according to their own peculiarity and requirements.
The ambassador noted sports as an important aspect of youth development and also gave a commitment to facilitating technical assessments to upgrade the Pakistan Sports Board.
Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2019