New Islamabad airport to be named Xi Jinping airport

Published: April 1, 2017
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Chinese President Xi Jinping. PHOTO: REUTERS

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Chinese President Xi Jinping. PHOTO: REUTERS

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with Chinese President Xi Jinping. PHOTO: REUTERS

As relations between China and Pakistan continue to grow stronger, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to honour the Chinese president by naming the new Islamabad airport after him.

“The new Islamabad airport will be named after Chinese President Xi Jinping,” sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune. The airport will now be called Xi Jinping airport, he added.

The decision came during a high-level meeting of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders in Islamabad.

New Islamabad airport to be ready by late July, PM told

The decision has been taken to cement and further strengthen Pak-China ties, the source added. “To celebrate 66 years of friendship between the two countries and as a token of appreciation for the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the premier has decided to honour the Chinese president,” the source further said. Pakistan and China have inked a $57 billion project involving energy, road and rail infrastructure.

The premier has taken the decision after consultation with senior party leaders, a senior party leader added. The decision comes as Pakistan has voiced serious concerns over growing strategic partnership between India and the United States.

“Party leaders believe that naming Islamabad airport after the Chinese president is a great gesture,” the party leader further said.

The new Islamabad Airport in Islamabad will be ready for operations by late July. The facility will then be inaugurated by the prime minister on August 14. “The Chinese president and his wife will also be invited to the inauguration ceremony,” the source said.

Another day, another deadline for new Islamabad airport

Following the decision, Google maps has also changed the name of the airport.

This screenshot from Google Maps shows the airport’s new name

The development, however, was not welcomed by everyone. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan took to Twitter to express his displeasure over the name. “PML-N govt is sold. After Qatari PM, they’re now trying to please Chinese,” he said.

Image uploaded from iOS (2)

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also opposed the decision. “The new Islamabad airport should be called Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto airport,” he recommended.

Image uploaded from iOS (1)

Sheikh Rashid also voiced concerns and insisted that the construction of the airport should be completed before it’s name is decided.

Image uploaded from iOS

New Islamabad Airport is the first greenfield airport with state-of-the-art facilities. The new airport will be the first airport in Pakistan which will have the ability to handle the biggest passenger aircraft Airbus A380.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Farooq Khan
    Apr 1, 2017 - 3:06PM

    Chinese government should be convinced to lift a long standing ban on employment of Pakistani pilots. Chinese Civil Aviation (CAC) does not accept/ recognise Pakistani flying licenses. It is in contradiction to our strong national ties.Recommend

  • Logitech
    Apr 1, 2017 - 3:48PM

    This is a good step to cement and concrete Pak-China Sino-Pak relationshipRecommend

  • sajjad
    Apr 1, 2017 - 8:16PM

    Though on the Pakistan Government level it is always claimed as very strong and close relation but from the Chinese Govt Perspective it is very diplomatic and Commercial. A clear evidence is numerous blockage on Visas for even Pakistani businessmen and access of our products in their market. Even Hong Kong which is under Chinese control does not show any flexibility on Tourist or business Visas for Pakistanis. it looks like the Chinese Governments has a set a level for their Pakistani counterpart, from which they do not Exceed. hope the Cpak fulfils our dreams of opportunity and it is not a disasters for us one sidedRecommend

  • Sher
    Apr 2, 2017 - 1:18AM

    Why not after Edhi?? Recommend

  • ME
    Apr 2, 2017 - 1:50AM

    Makes me wonder how many people comment before reading the news?Recommend

  • whats in name
    Apr 2, 2017 - 7:07AM

    Its okay till Pakistan is not renamed as China.Recommend

  • hzrr
    Apr 2, 2017 - 7:21AM

    well..not many international airlines operate here and it does not matter how you call it.Since so many are being given to China one might as well hand this airport too and the Chinese will be at home with Chinese names and Chinese employeesRecommend

  • Confused
    Apr 2, 2017 - 10:46AM

    Lahore airport should be named as Erdogan international. Recommend

  • Shantanu
    Apr 2, 2017 - 10:47AM

    Even as an Indian, I do not find this funny. Poor journalism.Recommend

  • Chhota Shikoh
    Apr 2, 2017 - 4:16PM

    That’s certainly better than calling it Jinn Booth International Airport.Recommend

  • Javid
    Apr 2, 2017 - 5:11PM

    We should name it Trump International Airport after all we did get a billions of dollars of aid from USA ;-) Recommend

  • Abubakr
    Apr 2, 2017 - 5:25PM

    Its good gesture. We have few true friend and we must recognize them. CPEC has potential for Pakistan growth.Recommend

  • Shyam Bhagat
    Apr 2, 2017 - 6:38PM

    Surely we are in new Chinastan!!!Recommend

  • Rida Shakir
    Apr 3, 2017 - 7:23AM

    A positive step. MaShaAllahRecommend

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