ISLAMABAD: Pakistan threw its full weight behind China on Monday, while pledging to oppose any attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty following talks between a visiting senior Chinese official and Pakistani authorities.
The Chinese State Commissioner for Counter Terrorism and Security Cheng Guoping, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, met Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and National Security Adviser Lt General (retd) Naseer Khan Janjua.
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The meeting was followed by delegation-level talks and working lunch, according to the statement issued by the Foreign Office.
It said Fatemi and the Chinese State Commissioner reviewed all aspects of bilateral relationship, with a special focus on security, economic development and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“Both sides noted that the all-weather friendship between the two countries has withstood the test of time, notwithstanding changes in the international, regional and domestic environments,” the Foreign Office said.
Noting the importance of CPEC for the economic development of Pakistan, the two sides stressed that timely completion of the corridor’s projects would not only give a boost to Pakistan’s economy, but would also significantly contribute towards regional connectivity, peace and development. Fatemi stated that Pakistan was fully committed to the timely and effective implementation of all the projects under CPEC.
PM’s advisor affirmed that friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
He further stated that Pakistan supports China on all its core issues, while firmly opposing any attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty.
Pakistan will continue to support China’s efforts to combat the three evils of terrorism, extremism and separatism, he added. Appreciating China’s forthright position on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism strategy and the far-reaching successes achieved by Pakistan, the PM special assistant thanked China for its support to Pakistan’s national security and territorial integrity.
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The Chinese State Commissioner stated that Beijing attached great importance to its relations with Islamabad, and supports its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
He thanked Pakistan for its consistent support to China on issues of core interest to it. He also lauded the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan and its security forces in its fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism, which has also helped maintain regional peace and stability.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the continued progress in bilateral relations in all fields and expressed their resolve to work towards further solidifying political relations, deepening economic bonds and security cooperation and closer people-to-people contacts, in order to achieve the common goal of China-Pakistan “Community of Shared Destiny”.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2017.