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Pakistan stands ready to work closely with China for connectivity, prosperity: PM Shahbaz

China’s Director of Foreign Affairs Commission Yang Jiechi calls on PM Shahbaz Sharif. Photo: Radio Pakistan   

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said that Islamabad stood ready to work closely with Beijing for realising the shared vision of connectivity, prosperity and public well-being.

He made the remarks during a meeting with Yang Jiechi, a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China’s Central Committee and Director of Foreign Affairs Commission, who called on him in Islamabad today.

He maintained that “Pakistan will continue to support Chinese investors with competitive incentives, access to high-quality infrastructure and unwavering security arrangements.”

During the meeting, PM Shahbaz conveyed the most cordial greetings and best wishes for President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

PM Shahbaz underscored the significance of Director Yang’s visit for accelerating the implementation of the leaders’ consensus on further enhancing bilateral relations across all domains. He expressed satisfaction at growing bilateral trade and financial linkages, with China’s unstinting support playing an invaluable role in helping Pakistan offset external shocks to the global economy and demonstrating the continued resilience of Pakistan-China cooperation at a time of heightened uncertainty on the world stage.

He particularly thanked China for the renewal of the RMB 15 billion (US $ 2.3 billion) syndicate facility. He underlined that as a flagship of the visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC had transformed Pakistan’s economic base and strengthened capacity for self-development.

The PM reaffirmed the government’s resolve to accelerate the pace and complete CPEC projects at the earliest.

He also underscored the high importance Pakistan attached to the strategic ML-I and other key projects including Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Babusar Tunnel, and desalinization plant in Karachi.

The CPEC and growing economic linkages had deepened the roots of the abiding friendship between the peoples of both countries, the prime minister noted.

The prime minister reiterated his strong condemnation of the Karachi terrorist attack and underscored Pakistan’s determination to bring the perpetrators to justice.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to enhanced measures for safety, security and protection of the Chinese nationals, projects and institutions in the country.

Exchanging views on international issues of mutual interest, the prime minister highlighted the adverse impact of India’s unabated repression and gross violations of human rights in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The prime minister thanked China for its principled stance and steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

PM Shehbaz and Director Yang also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan including the humanitarian and economic crises.

The need for international cooperation and unfreezing of assets to avert humanitarian catastrophe and ease the misery of the Afghan people was underscored.

Reiterating a cordial invitation to President Xi Jinping, the prime minister stated that the people of Pakistan were looking forward to welcoming President Xi on his next state visit to Pakistan at the earliest.

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