ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang held a comprehensive telephonic conversation on Monday.
The talks between the two leaders were marked by traditional warmth and cordiality, which is the hallmark of the Pakistan-China relationship.
Shahbaz Sharif offered his condolences to the government and people of China and expressed sympathies with the families of victims of the heinous terrorist attack that took place at the Karachi University on April 26, 2022, in which three Chinese scholars lost their lives.
The prime minister strongly condemned the terrorist attack and reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm resolve to hold a thorough investigation, to apprehend the perpetrators of this criminal act and to bring them to justice in accordance with our laws.
The prime minister reiterated that Pakistan attached the highest importance to the safety, security and protection of all Chinese nationals working in Pakistan on economic projects and institutions.
The prime minister assured Primer Li Keqiang that his government was determined to take all necessary measures for their enhanced security and safety in Pakistan.
The two premiers also discussed in detail bilateral matters, while agreeing that Pakistan and China would not allow anyone to harm the time-tested All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two Countries.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif thanked China for its firm support to Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national development and reaffirmed his government’s unwavering support to China on all issues of its core interest.
The prime minister affirmed his government’s firm resolve to fast-track both the ongoing as well as the new projects under the transformational China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which had immensely contributed to the socio-economic development of Pakistan and also realize its high-quality development.
The prime minister underscored the need for both sides to work together and enhance cooperation between the concerned agencies of the two Countries to fully operationalize the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) at an early date.
While recalling Pakistan-China sister-city partnerships, he expressed his desire to learn from the experience of those Chinese officials who have remained instrumental in setting up SEZs in their provinces.
The prime minister also expressed his commitment to working with renewed zeal and enthusiasm, in concert with China, especially on projects of strategic significance for both the Countries such as ML-1 project.
While emphasizing people-to-people contacts, Shahbaz Sharif also conveyed sentiments of the families of the Pakistani students who were desirous of retuning to China for resumption of their studies.
The Chinese Primer Li Keqiang assured Shahbaz Sharif of China’s readiness to enhance economic cooperation, expand trade and encourage greater investments from China to Pakistan.
Both Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Premier Li Keqiang shared the view that the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership must continue to serve the vital interests of the peoples of the two Countries, as well as the broader interests of peace and stability amidst the evolving regional and global milieu.
To this end, the two leaders agreed to enhance the momentum of exchanges to take bilateral cooperation to even higher levels.