ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan was briefed on Wednesday about the status of discussions with China on future cooperation projects.
The briefing was given at a preparatory session held for PM Khan’s coming trip to China from Feb 3. Mr Khan will meet Chinese leaders for an overall review of the entire gamut of bilateral ties, besides attending the inaugural session of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The session was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yousuf, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Special Assistant on CPEC Khalid Mansoor and other senior officers.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said Mr Khan was updated on the ongoing talks with Chinese officials on “concrete plans for enhancing cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, information technology and exports”.
Army chief holds meeting with PM
Issues of concern to Chinese authorities, including security and pending payment of IPPs, were also discussed.
Leaders of both countries had during their exchanges last year emphasised enhancing cooperation in agriculture, digital economy and people’s livelihood, and building health, industrial, trade, digital, and green corridors.
The two sides had at the 10th JCC meeting added the Joint Working Group on Information Technology Industry, opening up the way for cooperation in this sector.
Meanwhile, the army chief also separately met Prime Minister Khan.
“Professional matters pertaining to Pakistan Army were discussed during the meeting,” the PMO said.
The meeting was made to look like a one-on-one meeting between PM Khan and Gen Bajwa. Onlookers, however, say other senior officials were also present on the occasion.
The last publicly disclosed one-on-one meeting between the two happened on Oct 26, the day Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum was notified as the new director general of Inter-Services Intelligence after weeks’ long controversy over the appointment.
Mr Khan and Gen Bajwa have, however, been meeting at other forums. The two were together at the launch of the National Security Policy on Jan 14, and were also at the ISI headquarters on Jan 12 for a briefing.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2022