ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and China aim to further cement defence ties as Pakistan finds itself amid tension with India, the United States and Afghanistan.

The Foreign Office said yesterday, Pakistan and China held the seventh round of Strategic Dialogue in Beijing. This was the ‘Seventh Round of Strategic Dialogue’ between Pakistan and China.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry led the Pakistani delegation, while the Chinese side was led by Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Asian and Consular Affairs, Kong Xuanyou.

Both the sides held detailed discussions on the entire spectrum of bilateral relations between Pakistan and China. These included Chine-Pakistan Economic Corridor, economic cooperation, defence, counter-terrorism, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, culture and education and people to people contacts. The two sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in all areas for the mutual benefit of the two countries, said the Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Syed Tariq Fatemi, started visits to Belarus and Kazakhstan from August 23 to 27, as a Special Envoy of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The objective of the visits is to seek the two friendly countries' support for Pakistan's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

The Special Assistant carried letters from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif addressed to President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.

In his letters, the Prime Minister has underscored the need for the NSG to adopt a non-discriminatory approach on the question of the membership for non-NPT states in order to promote strategic stability in South Asia and strengthen the global non-proliferation regime.

While in Belarus, the Special Assistant will call on President Alexander Lukashenko and will also hold meetings with Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei, Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Rybakov and Minister of Industry Vitali Vovk.

In Kazakhstan, the Special Assistant's programme would include meetings with Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan M Ashikbayev.

Officials at the foreign ministry said Pakistan appreciated Chinese backing over the NSG membership and its principled stand on the Indian membership of the club.

“China assured full support on the NSG membership and vowed to fulfil our defence needs,” a senior official said.

He said at a time when Pakistan was being pressurised by the US, India and Afghanistan, Chinese unequivocal support had lifted the morale.

The ministry meanwhile said the Foreign Secretary and his Chinese counterpart also exchanged views on regional situation including India, Afghanistan and South China Sea. “Cooperation in multilateral forums including in the UN was also discussed,” it said.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. They agreed to continue to share their respective perspective on these issues and to further strengthen cooperation in multilateral forums including in the United Nations, the statement said.

Chaudhry apprised his counterpart of the grave humanitarian situation in Indian held Kashmir and the on-going human rights violations.

He expressed the hope that the international community would play its role in calling on India to put an end to blatant human rights violations in the held valley, it added.

The two sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation in all areas for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

The Foreign Secretary and his Chinese counterpart also exchanged views on regional situation including India, Afghanistan and South China Sea.

The two sides exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest. They agreed to continue to share their respective perspective on these issues and to further strengthen cooperation in multilateral forums including in the United Nations.

Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, on a two-day official visit to China, also met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in Beijing yesterday.

During his stay in Beijing, the Foreign Secretary will deliver a talk at the China Institute of International Affairs, a leading think tank, on Pakistan's foreign policy.