Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang concluded his two day visit to the country on Thursday, vowing to extend further support of his country to Pakistan in all sectors, especially in strategic sectors including energy, science and technology and agriculture.
Addressing participants of a special session of the Senate, the visiting premier said Pakistan’s support to China was vital for the development of his country.
“China will give you every support and assistance and by helping you, we would be helping ourselves,” he said, adding that the friendship between China and Pakistan was based upon sharing values of life and it was long lasting.
“The two nations have been enjoying such an exemplary friendship. Both nations should stand shoulder-to-shoulder as friends and brothers with pragmatic cooperation. In order to launch major social and financial projects, the cooperation in energy and agriculture sectors would be the other steps for cooperation,” he asserted.
Terming the friendship as outcome of centuries old historical people-to-people contacts, the Chinese PM said it was nurtured by the nations and fostered by the forefathers through generations to generations.
“To be friends forever is the cherished desire of both nations,” he said, adding that all weathers friendship between the two countries “is precious than the gold”.
Enumerating priorities to take both the countries forward on way of development and progress and for fostering bilateral time tested friendly ties, Premier Li said that the development and utilisation of Karakoram Highway would have to be sped up for boosting trade activities.
The visiting dignitary also lauded learning of Chinese language by Pakistani people and said they would require assistance of Pakistani people in learning the Urdu language.
Sharing his rejoice in addressing the Upper House of parliament, the Chinese premier said it was a great pleasure to address Pakistan’s parliament and conveyed his warm and brotherly greetings to the people of Pakistan.
He pledged to work for mutual benefits and fostering of relations between the brotherly nations.
Referring to Pakistan’s geo-political significance, he said it was hectically involved in maintaining regional stability and global peace and its contributions were commended by the world.
He said the Chinese nation could never forget when the first PIA flight landed in China in 1960 and provided them an air route and the timely aid by Pakistani nation when a massive quake hit Chinese population.
Li also referred to construction of Karakoram Highway in which a number of Chinese people lost lives and said the Pakistani people were looking after the cemetery and the saplings planted there had now turned into luxurious trees.
Similarly, the Chinese government and people have also been supporting and helping Pakistan in time of natural disasters and crisis, he added.
The visiting dignitary said the denizens in China had coined a new phrase on Internet which meant “China and Pakistan are iron brothers”.
The friendship between the two nations was growing faster than the information technology and the other phrase which impressed him the most was “If you love China, please love Pakistan”.
In his welcome address, Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari urged greater connectivity between Pakistan and China for enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries.
“We should concentrate on enhancing economic cooperation through greater connectivity. We must continuously expand and deepen cooperation in all areas of mutual interest,” he said.
Senator Aitazaz Ahsan and Raja Zafarul Haq presented vote of thanks and said the friendship between Pakistan and China was deepened with passage of time.
Later, during his visit to the Pak-China Friendship Centre, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang termed “unmatchable” the friendship between Pakistan and China and said the “eternal relationship” between the two countries always withstood tests of time.
“Our hearts beat together and if there is anything time-tested in this world, it is Pakistan-China friendship,” the Chinese premier said.
Premier Li Keqiang along with caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khoso visited the institute built with the assistance of the Chinese government. Premier Li, in his address to the select gathering of representatives of think-tanks and the Chinese-learning students, said China considered Pakistan as its valuable neighbour.
He said it was a point of satisfaction that the people of Pakistan and China considered each other brothers and were bonded through their hearts and minds.
Caretaker Prime Minister Khoso highlighted the “priceless” relationship of Pakistan and China that was rooted in the realms of trust.
Khoso said Pakistan supported China’s vision of maintaining harmonious ties with its neighbours.
CHINESE PM LEAVES:
Later, the Chinese premier left after a successful two-day visit. Li and his delegation was seen off at Nur Khan Airbase by President Asif Ali Zardari, Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Kayani and civil and military officials.
Six PAF JF-17 Thunders escorted the aircraft of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang as it took off from PAF Nur Khan Base for its next destination. The escorting aircraft got airborne from an operational air base and formed a three ship echelon right and echelon left formation on either side of the distinguished dignitary’s aircraft, according to PAF. The escort formation of JF-17 Thunders was led by Wing Commander Ronald Afzal.