ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and China on Monady discussed the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, economic development and bilateral relations, the foreign ministry said. 

Chinese State Commissioner for Counter Terrorism and Security Cheng Guoping called on Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi to exchange views before delegation-level talks. He is on a three-day visit to Pakistan.

“The PM’s adviser and the Chinese State Commissioner reviewed all aspects of the bilateral relationship, with a special focus on security, economic development and CPEC,” said a foreign ministry statement.

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.

China intends to invest more than $46 billion in energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan till 2017-18 of which $15 billion investment is anticipated in infrastructure projects only. These include Lahore-Karachi Motorway, expansion of Karakorum Highway and expanding the capacity of Gwadar Port. In the transportation sector, the railway line from Karachi to Peshawar would be modernised and upgraded.

Noting the importance of the mega project for the economic development of Pakistan, the two sides stressed that timely completion of the CPEC projects would not only give a boost to Pakistan’s economy but would also significantly contribute towards regional connectivity, peace and development, the statement said.

Fatemi said that Pakistan was fully committed to the timely and effective implementation of all the projects under the CPEC project.

Fatemi affirmed that friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. He said that Pakistan supported 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 said.

Appreciating China’s forthright position on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism strategy and the far-reaching successes achieved by Pakistan, he thanked China for its support to Pakistan’s national security and territorial integrity.

The Chinese State Commissioner stated that China attached great importance to its relations with Pakistan, and supports its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

He appreciated 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”.

Meanwhile, Additional Secretary (UN and EC) Tasnim Aslam briefed ambassadors of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries on Indian human rights atrocities in held Kashmir.

She referred to the continuously deteriorating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, in the backdrop of Kashmir Solidarity Day.

The ambassadors were briefed on the significance of Kashmir Solidarity Day, which is observed to convey Pakistan’s unflinching diplomatic, moral and political support to the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir in their legitimate and historic struggle against Indian occupation and for the realization of the inalienable right to self-determination as promised to them in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the foreign ministry said.

The additional secretary underscored that the Kashmir dispute was outstanding on UN Security Council’s agenda with the relevant UNSC resolutions remaining unimplemented. The longstanding dispute was the direct outcome of the violation of the principles of the partition of the subcontinent.

She highlighted the systematic genocide of defenceless Kashmiris for many decades at the hands of Indian occupation forces. Around 1.5 million Kashmiris have been killed by the Indian forces, while Kashmiris struggled for their legitimate right to self-determination, the Additional Secretary emphasized.

The continuing Indian state terrorism in held Kashmir had increased enormously after the extra-judicial killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016. Indian brutalities have resulted in the killing of about 150 innocent civilians and injuries to around 20,000. The use of pellet guns against unarmed civilians, including young girls and children, has caused severe eye injuries to thousands and blinded hundreds of Kashmiris.

India has deprived more than 1.5 billion people of this region of peace and prosperity by refusing to resolve the Kashmir dispute and endangered the peace and security of the region and beyond due to its aggressive designs and intransigence, which was causing a growing concern among the international community, the additional secretary said.

She said that Pakistan deeply appreciated the unequivocal and principled support of the OIC on Kashmir. The Muslim Ummah was further urged to play a more active role for the resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

Earlier in the day, Senior Vice President of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi and former Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Lapo Pistelli called on Fatemi.

Both sides noted the strengthening bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Italy, and hoped that these ties would be further enhanced in diverse areas of cooperation, especially in the field of trade, investment and energy, said an official statement. Fatemi apprised Pistelli of the policies of the government for enhancing welfare and security of the people, reviving the economy and addressing the energy crisis.

He also briefed Pistelli about the investor-friendly policies of the government. The importance of further augmenting bilateral trade and investment relations in a number of sectors, especially energy and infrastructure development, was also underscored.

Fatemi expressed satisfaction at the presence of a large number of Italian companies in Pakistan.

Pistelli acknowledged the positive impact of government’s socio-economic policies and hoped that more companies would benefit from Pakistan’s investor friendly climate.

From page 1

Shared Destiny”.

Meanwhile, Additional Secretary (UN and EC) Tasnim Aslam briefed ambassadors of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries on Indian human rights atrocities in held Kashmir.

She referred to the continuously deteriorating human rights situation in occupied Kashmir, in the backdrop of Kashmir Solidarity Day.

The ambassadors were briefed on the significance of Kashmir Solidarity Day, which is observed to convey Pakistan’s unflinching diplomatic, moral and political support to the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir in their legitimate and historic struggle against Indian occupation and for the realization of the inalienable right to self-determination as promised to them in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the foreign ministry said.

The additional secretary underscored that the Kashmir dispute was outstanding on UN Security Council’s agenda with the relevant UNSC resolutions remaining unimplemented. The longstanding dispute was the direct outcome of the violation of the principles of the partition of the subcontinent.

She highlighted the systematic genocide of defenceless Kashmiris for many decades at the hands of Indian occupation forces. Around 1.5 million Kashmiris have been killed by the Indian forces, while Kashmiris struggled for their legitimate right to self-determination, the Additional Secretary emphasized.

The continuing Indian state terrorism in held Kashmir had increased enormously after the extra-judicial killing of Burhan Wani on July 8, 2016. Indian brutalities have resulted in the killing of about 150 innocent civilians and injuries to around 20,000. The use of pellet guns against unarmed civilians, including young girls and children, has caused severe eye injuries to thousands and blinded hundreds of Kashmiris.

India has deprived more than 1.5 billion people of this region of peace and prosperity by refusing to resolve the Kashmir dispute and endangered the peace and security of the region and beyond due to its aggressive designs and intransigence, which was causing a growing concern among the international community, the additional secretary said.

She said that Pakistan deeply appreciated the unequivocal and principled support of the OIC on Kashmir. The Muslim Ummah was further urged to play a more active role for the resolution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions.

Earlier in the day, Senior Vice President of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi and former Deputy Prime Minister of Italy Lapo Pistelli called on Fatemi.

Both sides noted the strengthening bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Italy, and hoped that these ties would be further enhanced in diverse areas of cooperation, especially in the field of trade, investment and energy, said an official statement. Fatemi apprised Pistelli of the policies of the government for enhancing welfare and security of the people, reviving the economy and addressing the energy crisis.

He also briefed Pistelli about the investor-friendly policies of the government. The importance of further augmenting bilateral trade and investment relations in a number of sectors, especially energy and infrastructure development, was also underscored.

Fatemi expressed satisfaction at the presence of a large number of Italian companies in Pakistan.

Pistelli acknowledged the positive impact of government’s socio-economic policies and hoped that more companies would benefit from Pakistan’s investor friendly climate.