China, Pakistan call for ceasefire in Afghanistan

Published July 25, 2021
CHENGDU (China): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi pictured with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Saturday. — PPI
CHENGDU (China): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi pictured with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Saturday. — PPI

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China on Saturday called on all Afghan stakeholders to agree on a comprehensive ceasefire and work together to achieve a broad-based, inclusive and negotiated political settlement.

The call was made by the two sides as Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held the third session of the foreign ministers’ strategic dialogue in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, China.

According to a joint statement issued later, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate and support an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process for the early realisation of a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghan­istan, which would firmly combat terrorism and live in harmony with its neighbours.

Both sides condemned the terrorist attack in Dasu which caused loss of precious lives and injuries to Pakistani and Chinese workers. Both sides expressed their resolve to expose the culprits and their reprehensible designs through the ongoing joint investigation, give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators, ensure comprehensive safety and security of the Chinese projects, nationals and institutions, and prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Resolve to expose culprits in Dasu bus tragedy through joint probe

China and Pakistan also reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen their time-tested and all-weather strategic cooperative partnership with fresh dynamism and vitality. The two sides exchanged views on bilateral strategic, economic and security cooperation, Covid-19 pandemic and international and regional issues of mutual interest, and reached consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity and development in the region.

Both sides recalled that the enduring Pakistan-China friendship had reached the momentous milestone of the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations, being enthusiastically marked in the two countries with holding of more than 100 celebratory events throughout this year.

In further strengthening their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and together charting course for the Pakistan-China community of shared future in the new era, both sides are committed to strengthen all-round cooperation, maintain momentum of high-level exchanges, further advance Belt and Road partnership, promote bilateral relationship to a higher level, and deliver greater benefits to both countries and the two peoples.

Both sides reviewed with satisfaction their close cooperation in successfully controlling the spread of Covid-19, cooperation in protective and medical equipment, vaccine development and ensuring early post-pandemic economic recovery. The Pakistan side thanked China for its steadfast support to the vaccination drive in the country, and setting up of vaccine finish facility at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad. Chinese side pledged to continue assisting Pakistan in strengthening its national health systems and dealing with adverse socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

Both sides believe that the study of origins of the SARS-CoV-2 is a matter of science, and should not be politicised. The joint report of the WHO-convened global study of origins of the SARS-CoV-2, published this March, has drawn an authoritative and scientific conclusion of related issues. This joint report should be recognised, respected and preserved, and should be treated as the basis of the WHO next stage of the origin tracing study as well.

Both sides agreed on continuing their unyielding support on issues concerning each other’s core national interests. The Chinese side reiterated its firm support to Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, independently choosing a development path based on its national conditions, striving for a better external security environment and playing a more constructive role on international and regional affairs.

Both sides underscored that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had entered the new phase of high-quality development, greatly contributing to the socio-economic development in Pakistan. The two sides will continue to firmly advance the construction of the CPEC, ensure timely completion of under-construction projects, focus on economic and social development, job creation and improvement of people’s livelihood, and further strengthen cooperation in Industrial Park, infrastructure development, science and technology, medical and health, agriculture, human resources training, with the aim to continuously unleash the great potential of CPEC to make it a hub of regional connectivity.

The two sides look forward to convening the 10th Joint Coordination Committee meeting to jointly promote the high-quality development of the CPEC and move forward the high-quality construction of BRI.

Both sides underscored that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in the common interest of all countries. Both sides agreed on the need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The Pakistan side briefed the Chinese side on the deteriorating situation in Jammu and Kashmir, including its concerns, position and current urgent issues. The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left over from history between India and Pakistan, and that the dispute should be resolved peacefully and properly through the United Nations Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2021

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