ISLAMABAD  - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that Pakistan is eagerly looking forward to welcoming President Xi Jinping to the country, as the government believes this important visit would further strengthen the all-weather strategic partnership between the two countries, bringing them closer to achieving the dream of building a “Pakistan-China community of shared destiny”.

“The friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. China has always been a sincere friend of Pakistan,” Prime Minister stated in a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi who called on him at the PM House.

During the visit of the Chinese president, both sides will hold in-depth exchanges with each other on all matters of mutual interest including economy, security and regional developments in the backdrop of changing international scenario.

The PM said that Pakistan attaches high importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and expressed the confidence that President Xi’s expected visit would help fast-tracking CPEC early harvest projects.

The Prime Minister said that President of Pakistan on Thursday conferred Hilal-e-Pakistan on Wang Yi in recognition of his contribution towards promoting Pakistan-China friendship.

He said that security of Chinese nationals working in Pakistan is a matter of high priority for Pakistan and special arrangements are being made for this purpose.

Wang Yi thanked the government of Pakistan for taking measures for improving security of Chinese institutions and personnel in Pakistan.

Wang Yi conveyed greetings of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said that China appreciates the importance Pakistan attaches to the friendship with China and the contribution PM Nawaz has personally made to strengthen this relationship, taking it to new heights.

The Chinese foreign minister said that Pakistan and China are iron brothers and frequent bilateral exchanges have further strengthened this relationship.

President Xi attaches great importance to the relationship with Pakistan and cherishes the trust and friendship between the two countries, he said.

Wang said the menace of terrorism and extremism is the common enemy of both the countries and China would continue its cooperation with Pakistan in successfully meeting this challenge.

Pakistan and China are celebrating 2015 as their Year of Friendly Exchanges which has formally began with the visit of Chinese foreign minister and would be followed by a series of high-level bilateral visits from both sides.

Federal Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar, Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal, Adviser to PM on National Security Sartaj Aziz; SAPM Tariq Fatemi and the foreign secretary and Ambassador of China to Pakistan Sun Weidong were also present during the meeting.

PM updated on NAP

The federal government has put around 60 entities on the list of proscribed organisations, one is on the watch list, while 171 are on the list of United Nations (UN).

“Twenty-two tasks including setting up of military courts, transfer of cases and steps to counter terrorists have so far been implemented,” according to the update of implementation on National Action Plan, shared with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif here on Friday.

Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan, who gave briefing to the PM, also cautioned about more terrorist attacks in any part of the country in retaliation of NAP and operation Zarb-e-Azab.

In the recently updated list, the PM was informed that a Standard Operating Procedure for transfer of cases from the provinces was being put in place, and approved cases would be sent to the proposed nine military courts for disposal.

Regarding the regulation of seminaries, the PM was informed that there was a consensus on registration, regulation and audit, and the data was being shared with provincial governments.

He was told that admission of foreign students has been stopped and National Police Bureau was setting up a database with the cooperation of Nadra. He was also informed that 233 militants have been identified who have links with TTP or its affiliates.

Under the category of sectarian terrorism, 294 proclaimed offenders have been identified, 547 cases registered for hate speeches, 416 arrests made, 83 materials confiscated while 41 shops sealed. Similarly, 26 cases were registered for terrorists financing in addition to 32 arrests and recovery of Rs 71.5 million amount.

The prime minister was informed that the federal government in coordination with the Defence Department had planned to have a well trained and well equipped Counter-Terrorism Force that will have 5000 personnel from Punjab, 1000 from Balochistan, 800 from Sindh and 3000 from KP.

Regarding the securing of communication networks of the target of verification of 103 million SIMs, 31.02 million have so far been cleared that would be completed by middle of April.

He was informed that laws regarding blocking of social media operations were being amended and a report would be submitted in 15 days. About the Afghan refugees, the Prime Minister was told that an action plan was finalised and registration of un-documented refugees was underway.  Their repatriation to camps, in coordination with the provinces and to Afghanistan was in process.

The Prime Minister was informed that a security audit of media houses and journalists in all provinces and Islamabad was complete and 57 security guards have so far been trained.

He was told that following the Karachi operation there has been a significant reduction in crimes and 35,029 criminals have been arrested. Under the revamping of legislation, the Ministry of Law and Justice Division has finalised draft amendments in laws to strengthen criminal system of justice.

To counter militancy in Punjab a de-radicalisation programme has been launched and a pilot project for training and provision of soft loans for 200 youth has been approved.

In 16,344 combing operations by the provincial governments from December 24 to February 8, 12,462 people have been arrested, while 3,265 cases were registered against use of loudspeakers, 2,065 were arrested, and 1,281 pieces of equipment were seized.

Foreign Office Spokesperson in the statement said during the

visit, the Chinese Foreign Minister called on President Mamnoon

Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

      He also had meetings with Adviser to the Prime Minister on

National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, and Chief of

the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif.

      The spokesperson said the President, in his meeting with the

Chinese Foreign Minister, stated that Pakistan attaches great

importance to its relations with China.

      He noted that Pakistan-China friendship was a factor of

stability in the region. Foreign Minister Wang Yi agreed with the

President, describing Pakistan-China friendship as deep-rooted and

irreplaceable.

      Later, at a special investiture ceremony at the Aiwan-e-Sadr,

the President conferred the Hilal-e-Pakistan award on Mr. Wang Yi in

recognition of his invaluable contribution to the promotion of

relations between Pakistan and China.

      The Prime Minister, during his meeting with the Chinese

Foreign Minister, said the leadership of both countries is committed

to further strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership

between Pakistan and China.

      He noted that wide-ranging economic cooperation between

Pakistan and China had entered a new dimension.

      It was vital for the two countries to translate their shared vision

for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) into a reality.

      Foreign Minister, Wang Yi agreed that there was a need for

speedy implementation of the CPEC and other vital projects, which

would transform the entire region.

      In the delegation-level talks between the Adviser and the

Chinese Foreign Minister, the two sides reviewed all aspects of the

bilateral relationship.

      It was agreed that work on the CPEC-related projects should be

expedited to ensure that Early Harvest Projects could be operationalized at the earliest.

      The two sides also took stock of regional developments and

agreed on the need for maintaining strategic balance in South Asia.

        The Adviser reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to fostering a peaceful

neighborhood in order to achieve its economic and development objectives.

      The two leaders welcomed the continuing cooperation between

Pakistan and China for the promotion of peace and prosperity in

Afghanistan.

      Both sides agreed on the need to make United Nations Security

Council more representative and effective, and that its reform

should be achieved by consensus.

      During his two-day visit, Mr. Wang Yi also attended the launch

ceremony of `2015 Pakistan-China Year of Friendly Exchanges’, which

was co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese

Embassy in Islamabad.

      Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Speaker National Assembly, was the chief

guest on the occasion.

      Several federal ministers, Chief Minister of Punjab Mian

Shahbaz Sharif and other dignitaries, attended the event.

      During the Year of Friendly Exchanges, Pakistan and China have

planned a series of activities in the Parliamentary, cultural,

education, media, business, and other spheres to further strengthen

their strategic partnership and all-weather friendship.