PM tells top-ranking Chinese official: Govt to complete CPEC projects at earliest

Thursday, Jun 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD: In the latest development on economic front, China has announced to grant a fresh rollover of $2 billion safe deposits to Pakistan. Besides, it also decided to export 200,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser to Pakistan.

In this regard, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Pakistan and China during the visit of high-level Chinese delegation to Pakistan. As per the understanding between the two countries, the Chinese government will provide Pakistan 3,000 sets of solar home system while Pakistan will export embryos to China for quarantine and health requirements for buffalo and Rhodes Grass to China.

In addition, an understanding on the terms of reference of G2G joint technical working group for realignment of Karakoram Highway from Thakot to Raikot was also developed. The high-level delegation, under the leadership of Yang Jiechi, Member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of its Foreign Affairs Commission, is on a two-day visit to Pakistan.

On arrival in the capital, SAPMs Syed Tariq Fatemi and Zafaruddin Mahmood, Ambassador Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, additional secretary and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, received the delegation.

Extending a warm welcome to Director Yang, the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif conveyed the most cordial greetings and best wishes for President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. He noted that Director Yang’s visit marked the continuation of high-level exchanges between Pakistan and China, which are the hallmark of the time-tested All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two countries.

The prime minister recalled his extensive conversation with Premier Li Keqiang in May 2022, during which both leaders had reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and exchanged views on the regional and international situation.

He underscored the significance of Director Yang’s visit for accelerating the implementation of the leaders’ consensus on further enhancing bilateral relations across all domains. “Economic cooperation has become a mainstay of the wide-ranging Pakistan-China partnership,” said the PM.

The prime minister thanked China for renewal of the RMB 15 billion (US $ 2.3 billion) syndicate facility and its support and assistance to Pakistan's efforts towards preventing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic by providing millions of vaccine doses as well as protective and medical equipment.

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. Besides, PM Shehbaz 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 desalinisation plant in Karachi.

“Pakistan stands ready to work closely with China for realising both countries’ shared vision of connectivity, prosperity and public well-being,” said PM Shehbaz. He added Pakistan would also continue to support Chinese investors with competitive incentives, access to high-quality infrastructure and unwavering security arrangements.

CPEC and growing economic linkages had deepened the roots of the abiding friendship between the peoples of both countries, the Prime Minister noted. Atop this unshakeable foundation, the Pakistan-China partnership would continue to play its valuable role as a factor of peace and stability in the region and beyond.

The PM 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.

Recalling the recent visit of tri-services delegation to China led by the Chief of Army Staff, the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction at the expanding defence and security cooperation between Pakistan and China, which was contributing to regional peace and stability.

While emphasizing the need for enhanced people-to-people contacts, he thanked China for facilitating return of Pakistani students to resume their on-campus studies, and expressed hope that the remaining students would be able to return soon. The prime minister also appreciated Chinese decision for the resumption of PIA flights to China and increasing the frequency of weekly flights.

Exchanging views on international issues of mutual interest, he highlighted the adverse impact of India’s unabated repression and gross violations of human rights in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He thanked China for its principled stance and steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

The prime minister and Director Yang also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan, including the humanitarian and economic crises. They urged for international cooperation and unfreezing of assets to avert humanitarian catastrophe and ease the misery of the Afghan people.

Reiterating 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.