LAHORE - In order to take Pak-China friendship ‘higher than the Himalayas’, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is undertaking yet another visit to China from February 19, his second since assuming the office in June this year.
After taking oath as the Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif undertook his first foreign trip to China in July which culminated at the signing of various MoUs and agreements, particularly on cooperation in the energy sector and the opening up of an ‘economic corridor’ from Gwadar to Chinese city of Kashghar.
It is expected to be a five-day visit starting from February 19, which would primarily focus on reviewing progress on agreements previously signed with the brotherly country during the first visit. New agreements on bilateral cooperation in different fields, especially on strategic matters and energy, are also likely to be signed between the two countries in the upcoming visit.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif would also be accompanying the Prime Minister besides his key Advisers on Security and Foreign Affairs.
Senior officials of Ministry of Water and Power would also be part of the delegation.
Sources said that Shahbaz Sharif was very much eager to meet the heads of Chinese companies currently working on different energy products in Pakistan. With summer approaching fast, the Chief Minister would take the opportunity to seek early completion of these projects to give the much awaited relief to electricity consumers, they said, adding, that early completion of Nandipur power project would top the agenda of his meetings in China.
It may be recalled that immediately after his return from China, Nawaz Sharif had then established ‘China Cell’ at the Prime Minister’s office to coordinate and monitor timely implementation of the projects to be completed with Chinese assistance. This cell has reportedly identified some issues hampering smooth progress on some key projects like the optic fiber.
These would be taken up with Chinese authorities besides the matters pertaining to funding.