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Pakistan's independence, sovereignty very dear to China: Li

24 May, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said on Thursday that despite facing several challenges, Pakistan has made tremendous progress and added that integrity‚ independence and sovereignty of Pakistan is very dear to China.

In a special session of the Senate, the Chinese premier reiterated that his government would continue supporting Pakistan despite any change at the international level. He said Pakistan was a hub of ancient civilisations, like Gandhara. Moreover, he said Pakistan enjoyed immense significance at both the regional and international levels. He also appreciated the country's strong role in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The Chinese prime minister affirmed the strong friendship between Pakistan and China in the past 62 years, adding that he was impressed by the hospitality of the Pakistani people during his visit. "Pakistan's role after the earthquake in China was unforgettable," Prime Minister Keqiang said. The Chinese prime minister vowed to support Pakistan's sovereignty and integrity and pledged to help the country in every possible way. Moreover, he said the two countries should take greater advantage of free trade agreements.

Li Keqiang appreciated Pakistan's role for bringing peace and stability not only in the region but also in the world. A large number of diplomats, politicians, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan governors, caretaker chief minister of Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister, Azad Jammu and Kashmir president, National Assembly Speaker Fehmida Mirza, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal, Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khurro and G-B Assembly Speaker Wazir Baig also attended the special Senate session.

In his speech, the Chinese premier said that his country would continue to support Pakistan and promote bilateral relations in all fields in future. "Pakistan is a great country and a time-tested friend of China. The rooted relations between the two countries will be further strengthened in the time to come," Li said. "The development of China cannot be separated from the friendship with Pakistan," he maintained. He emphasised on the need for expanding cooperation in various fields between the two countries and giving a boost to strategic, economic and trade ties.

"Pakistan and China should further enhance the strategic partnership and cooperation," said the premier. He said his country will help Pakistan for maintaining its sovereignty and defeating terrorism. He said relations between the two countries have flourished regardless of any change at the international level and both the countries have similar views on almost all regional and international issues.

"Pakistan is an important player in Asian and international affairs which has always persuaded the policy of dialogue to resolve the issues." "The hearts of both Pakistanis and Chinese people beats together and their destiny is also same," he underlined. The Chinese premier reiterated that the relations and friendship between the two countries is moving forward and being all-weather friends we want to open new chapter of friendship and cooperation with Pakistan. "We are truly proud to be such a devoted friends from generation to generation". He added that the countries have friendship based on the shared valued. "We are good neighbours, good friends, good partners and good brothers," he said.

Li underlined the need for adopting a positive approach for ensuring development of South Asia, saying that Pakistan has significant influence in the SAARC countries. He also mentioned that around 140 Chinese workers had lost their lives while constructing Karakoram Highway, adding that China is also ready to upgrade KKH to expand economic ties with Pakistan.

The Chinese prime minister mentioned that the growing cultural ties between the two countries and appreciated Pakistani students' interest to learn the Chinese language. The premier said that he would continue the efforts to promote Chinese language in Pakistan and will send 1000 teachers to teach its languages to Pakistani students. He said his country will also extend scholarships to Pakistani students for higher studies.

End.

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