KARACHI - President Mamnoon Hussain has said that his visit to China has proved to be a milestone in strategic and economic co-operation between China and Pakistan.

Talking to newsmen here on Sunday, the President said that China would start 21,000 megawatts power projects in Pakistan.

Responding to a question regarding talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), President Mamnoon said operation would be carried out against the militants if the reconciliation could not be built. He said the targeted operation against miscreants in Karachi could continue for one year.

Expressing concern over the incident of sectarian violence in the city, the president said he directed the interior ministry to take stern action against those involved in the violence.

President Mamnoon said he would discuss the issue of illegal cellphone sims issue with the department concerned.

He said there was no plan of replacing Governor Sindh and the federal government would decide as he did not intervene in political affairs.

The president said that political government was taking all possible steps for restoration of peace in the country and economic uplift.

Meanwhile, President Mamnoon said the government was giving top priority to strengthen economy, and improve law and order situation in the country. He expressed the optimisim that country would be on the track of prosperity and development at the end of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government’s five-year term. The president, while talking to representatives of electronic media here, said the present government was not responsible for the persisting social and economic conditions. However, it was now its duty to bring about improvement and development in the country. He said the federal government had the resolve to restore peace and ensure security in Karachi. The targeted operation by the law enforcement agencies would continue till achieving the objective, he added.

Replying to a question, President Mamnoon did not rule out the operation against Taliban in case of failure of the peace dialogue. The country could not further afford lawlessness and terrorism, he added.

“We all should pray for the success of dialogue between the government and Taliban,” he said.

He said the objective of the surgical airstrikes in certain areas of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) was to make Taliban realise that the government could go to any extent for establishing its writ and the rule of law in the country.  He said in case of an operation in the tribal areas, there would be no big migration of people to Sindh as they would probably prefer to settle down in the nearest areas.

The government was moving in the right direction. However, it would take time to improve the situation in these areas, he added.

The president said with the cooperation of people, the law enforcement agencies would ensure peace and security to life and property of the people in Karachi soon. He said the mega city with around 20 million population and 500 katchi abadies (slums), had apparently become a sanctuary for the terrorists and criminals.

Mamnoon said his visit to China was very successful as it had pledged to invest millions of dollars in Pakistan, which would also create job opportunities.  He termed the Economic Corridor a unique project of the century. Not only Pakistan and China but Central Asia and entire Europe would also benefit from the mega project, he added.

He said two nuclear power plants being set up in Karachi with the Chinese cooperation, would generate 2,200 MW electricity.

Three more such plants would also be set up in other areas of the country.

He said China would also soon start the work on Lahore - Karachi Motorway project.

The president said China would purchase JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft from Pakistan for its air force. This would increase the demand for the aircraft in international market.

China would also sell F-17 fighter helicopters to Pakistan, which would prove to be an effective tool in the war against terrorism, he said, and added that it would also supply a submarine to Pakistan.

He said China had doubled the amount of its loan to Pakistan to two million RMB.

Mamnoon said he had meetings with the Chinese president and prime minister, the chairman of People’s Congress, and the secretary of Chinese Communist Party.

He said China was following a policy to avoid conflicts and to only focus on strengthening its economy till 2025.

The president said that government had planned to set up various power projects, including coal-fired, hydel and solar, to generate 21,000 MW.

Answering another query, he said the situation in Balochistan was improving. This was the only province where local body elections were recently held in a peaceful manner, he added.

Mamnoon said he had no political role to play after his election as president of the country.

Being the chancellor of 17 universities, he would work for the promotion of quality education and better health facilities in the country, he added.