ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan and China Monday agreed to further augment cooperation in various multilateral fora including the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

The eighth Round of Strategic Dialogue between Pakistan and China was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here, said a statement released by the foreign office.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua led the Pakistani delegation, while the Chinese side was led by Assistant Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs for Asian and Consular Affairs Kong Xuanyou. “Both sides held comprehensive discussions on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between Pakistan and China,” said the statement.

China is investing close to $57 billion under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, which speaks volumes about the two nations’ friendship. Pakistan had also handed over control of Gwadar Port to China’s state-owned China Overseas Ports Holding in February 2013.

Gwadar Port - built by Chinese workers and opened in 2007 - is undergoing a major expansion since. China also supports Pakistan for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group against India. Both Pakistan and India have applied to be members of the 48-member NSG that regulates global nuclear commerce. While the US is backing India for the seat, China supports Pakistan.

Beijing maintains if India, a non-signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, was given membership, then Pakistan too should be taken on board. Pakistan claims it has strong credentials and expertise to become member of the NSG.

Islamabad emphasises the need for a transparent, objective and non-discriminatory criteria for the group’s membership of non-members of the NPT.

The foreign ministry statement said Pakistan and China discussed the Belt and Road Initiative and specifically, the CPEC, bilateral trade, defence, counter-terrorism and culture, education and people-to-people exchanges.

“The two sides also agreed to further strengthen cooperation in all mutually-relevant areas for the benefit of the two countries,” it added.

The foreign secretary and her Chinese counterpart also exchanged views on issues including the regional situation in Afghanistan, the US policy in South Asia, and matters relating to the Korean Peninsula.

Janjua also apprised her counterpart of the dire situation faced by the people of the Indian Occupied Kashmir and the ongoing human rights violations committed by India.

She expressed hope that the international community would play its role in urging India to put an end to blatant human rights violations in held Kashmir. “The two sides reiterated the commitment to strengthen and enhance bilateral mutual cooperation in all fields including political, security and economic issues, and to further coordinate on issues of regional and international significance,” said the statement.