Political parties put on good show of unity on CPEC

Chinese minister says political, social stability essential for Pakistan’s development. China, Pakistan partnership is of great significance against backdrop of global challenges: Liu Jianchao. PM Shehbaz Sharif says Pakistan ready for new phase of CPEC. Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir reaffirms commitment to strategic partnership with China.

ISLAMABAD   -   Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Friday that Pakistan is ready for the new phase of CPEC with a focus on industrial sectors and business to business collaboration.

He was talking to Chinese delegation headed by Minister of International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Liu Jianchao in Islamabad tonight. Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Jiang Zaidong was also accompanying the delegation.

Emphasising on historic and unique significance of bilateral relations between the two countries, the prime minister reaffirmed that the Pakistan-China friendship was time-tested and enduring.

While welcoming the Chinese dignitary and members of his delegation to Pakistan, the prime minister congratulated him as well as political leaders of Pakistan on the successful organization of Pakistan-China Political Parties Forum and the 3rd round of Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) of Political Parties on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

He said it was a matter of great satisfaction that there was complete political consensus in both countries on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Reflecting on his recent visit to China where he held fruitful and productive meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang, the prime minister commended the vision of the Chinese leadership for the continued growth of Pakistan-China strategic relations and the shared desire of both countries to work together to ensure success of the CPEC and its upgradation to the next phase.

He underlined that early completion and implementation of all ongoing and new CPEC projects would contribute significantly towards Pakistan’s economic growth and inclusive development. Appreciating the role of IDCPC in the deepening of bilateral ties, he stressed the importance of enhanced exchanges between the political parties of two countries for experience-sharing, capacity building and people-centered governance.

He lauded the CPC for its full support to strengthening of China’s iron-clad brotherhood with Pakistan.  

Liu Jianchao, in his remarks, stressed that Pakistan and China are iron brothers, strategic partners and most-trusted friends. He further emphasised that China accorded a special place to Pakistan in its foreign policy and would continue to support Pakistan’s economic development and jointly work for the upgraded version of CPEC. The prime minister hosted a banquet in honour of Liu Jianchao and the accompanying Chinese delegation which was also attended by representatives of major political parties.

Pakistan and China on Friday agreed to enhance the frequency of parliamentary exchanges to strengthen linkages between the two peoples and pass on the legacy of iron-clad friendship to future generations.

Following the 3rd Meeting of CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) and member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee Liu Jianchao, told the media that the meeting had sent a strong signal of political consensus on the vitality of the bilateral relationship.

Ishaq Dar, who co-chaired the JCM with Minister Liu Jianchao, said it was the first time that Islamabad hosted the JCM meeting and its occurrence soon after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s recent China visit, multiplied its significance.

He said all the major political parties of Pakistan were invited to the meeting and the presence of senior leaders manifested the unanimity on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the importance of iron-clad friendship for regional peace and development.

He said the political parties reaffirmed their commitment to the CPEC projects and continued endevours for the upgradation of CPEC in its second phase. The deputy prime minister said the participating leaders also reiterated the role of political parties for stronger China-Pakistan relations, setting a future trajectory of unique bilateral ties. He said IDCPC would invite 300 Pakistani parliamentarians to China for more inter-parliamentary interactions.

Ishaq Dar viewed that the JCM had injected new impetus into the China-Pakistan ties as well as the CPEC, and expressed the hope that the bilateral friendship would continue to grow from strength-to-strength as envisaged by the two leaders and the peoples.

In his remarks, Chinese Minister Liu Jianchao said that China and Pakistan were unanimous on the vitality of the CPEC and its benefits for the people.

He said against the backdrop of global challenges, the partnership between China and Pakistan was of great significance. He expressed the hope that the political parties would continue to strive for deeper cooperation between the two countries. Emphasising people-to-people contacts, Liu Jianchao particularly mentioned the enhanced media linkages to address the challenge of fake news and promote better understanding. In his remarks, Liu said: “In a turbulent world of rising uncertainties, stability within a country is essential for the development of that country. Faced with complex internal and external challenges, Pakistan is navigating carefully through turbulent rivers and treacherous shores.

“Only when all political parties in the country join hands to ensure political and social stability can there be sustainable development.”

He said China was striving hard to maintain a good balance of reform, development and stability with each facet being “indispensable.”  National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC ensured vigilant oversight of the government and followed up on the progress of the projects under CPEC through regular reporting to the Parliament of Pakistan.

He reaffirmed the resolve of the parliament, government, and people of Pakistan to build on past successes and in ensuring that CPEC reaches its full potential.

JUI-Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman expressed gratitude to the Chinese leadership for their unconditional support of the Kashmir cause and reiterated Pakistan’s support on the Taiwan issue.

Minister for Federal Education Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Munazza Hassan called for an enhanced focus on education, information technology and artificial intelligence to harness the youth’s potential.

Syed Ali Zafar called for accelerating CPEC projects while Chairman of Pakistan-China Institute Mushahid Hussain Sayed reiterated the political parties’ commitment to take the CPEC-II forward.

National Party’s Senator Jan Muhammad called for technical training of Balochistan’s youth, while Afrasiab Khattak cautioned against the designs of the hegemonic forces in the region trying to disrupt peace.

Also, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Liu Jianchao has said that in the backdrop of the global challenges and global changes, the strategic value of the partnership and friendship between China and Pakistan in on the increase.

He expressed these views while addressing joint press stakeout with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar after concluding the China-Pakistan Political Parties Forum and the Third Meeting of the CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism in Islamabad.

The minister said China is also committed to the traditional friendship between the people of two countries and to the long-term Pakistan-China strategic partnership.

He said China and Pakistan are committed to the continuation of CPEC for the common benefits of the people of both the countries.

In his remarks, Foreign Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar said during the meeting, Pakistan and China reaffirmed their commitment CPEC projects and expressed firm resolve to continue joint endeavors for the upgradation of CPEC in its phase-two.

He said we all reiterated the vital role of the political parties of Pakistan and China for strengthening Pakistan-China relations and for setting the future trajectory of our unique and historic ties.

He said we also agreed to enhance a frequency of exchanges and interactions of our younger and talented parliamentarian of the two countries to pass on the legacy of the Pakistan-China friendship to our future generations.

He said the Chinese side announced that the IDCPC in next three years would sponsor three hundred parliamentarians from Pakistan to visit China.

Ishaq Dar said the Political Parties Forum and the Third Meeting of the CPEC Political Parties Joint Consultation Mechanism injected a new imputes in the Pakistan-China friendship and CPEC.

He said it is his strong conviction that Pakistan China iron-clad friendship would continue to grow from strength to strength and would achieve new milestones.

Meanwhile, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) Liu Jianchao called on Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi on Friday.

During the meeting, both discussed matters of mutual interest, including regional peace and stability, and reviewed progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The COAS reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to the strategic partnership with China and pledged full support for the successful implementation of CPEC, a flagship project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Liu Jianchao highlighted that he is visiting Pakistan as a follow up of the successful meetings between the leadership of the two countries in China. He emphasised the significance of the longstanding brotherly relations between the two nations and expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved on CPEC, reiterating China’s commitment to its timely completion.

The visiting dignitary also commended Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining regional peace and stability, acknowledging the support of the Pakistan Armed Forces in providing security to Chinese nationals and projects in Pakistan.

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