Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday stressed that completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was top priority of his government and hoped that its Phase-II would pave the way for further socio-economic development and livelihood opportunities for the people of Pakistan.
The prime minister expressed these views during a meeting with National People’s Congress (NPC) Chairman Li Zhanshu here at the Great Hall of the People. He was accompanied by foreign minister, minister for railways, special assistant to the prime minister on energy and other senior officials.
Congratulating Chairman Li on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the prime minister reiterated that Pakistan and China are close friends, steadfast partners and ‘iron brothers’. He underlined that China’s economic transformation in the last few decades has been very impressive and worth emulating. He particularly noted that Pakistan wants to learn from China’s experience of poverty mitigation and expressed his determination to reduce poverty in Pakistan by following China’s model. He also solicited the support of China in improving Pakistan’s agriculture and AI (artificial intelligence) sectors.
The prime minister proposed that, given Pakistan’s unique advantages, Chinese companies may relocate their industries to the country. He thanked China for its steadfast support to Pakistan on all issues of its national interest.
Imran Khan underscored that India’s illegal actions of August 5 had created a dire humanitarian situation in the Indian-held Kashmir and urged that the curfew imposed for over two months in the occupied valley needed to be lifted immediately to enable people to have access to basic human needs. He also highlighted the risks for peace and security in the region due to those actions.
Chairman Li Zhanshu reaffirmed Chinese leadership’s commitment to support Pakistan on issues of its core national interest. Recognizing the promise of Pakistan with its forward-looking policies, he maintained that China will support Pakistan in initiatives proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan. He also maintained that both China and Pakistan can propose new projects to be included in the CPEC.
Both the leaders agreed to carry forward the momentum of bilateral visits and enhance parliamentary linkages, which would further cement Pakistan-China bilateral ties. They also underscored commitment to enhance cooperation in political, cultural, educational and people-to-people ties. The prime minister invited the NPC chairman to visit Pakistan, which the latter graciously accepted.