Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday met Chinese President Xi Jinping and the two pledged to carry forward their nation’s all-weather friendship to new heights.
During the meeting, both leaders had discussion on bilateral and other issues of concern.
Nawaz said in fact Premier Li Keqiang, during his visit to Pakistan, had expressed the desire that he should first visit China as Pakistan’s prime minister. Nawaz said he had fulfilled the desire of Premier Li as it was an honour for him to visit the friendly country that was a source of strength for Pakistan.
The PM told President Xi that Pakistan was faced with numerous challenges and it had an uphill task to pull the economy out of the current difficulties.
He said that this was a difficult time, yet he was committed and determined to surmount all challenges.
Nawaz said he was fully cognizant of the internal security situation in parts of the country and the government was working out a strategy to improve it.
He pointed out that his country had to address the economic challenges in tandem with internal and regional security issues.
Nawaz said the failure to adders these issues was not an option for him and Pakistan believed that China would stand by its friend and neighbour in the hour of need.
Chinese President Xi Jinping recalled his earlier meeting with Nawaz in 2010.
President Xi said that he had great and happy memories of that meeting and the issues discussed at that time.
“I have great liking for you and your brother,” said Xi in a lighter tone.
The Chinese president said, “We are proud that you have chosen China for your first overseas visit.”
“Pakistan is a great country and we have enormous love and affection for it”, he added.
He hoped the visit would prove fruitful as a lot of homework had been done by both the countries.
He expressed the hope that tangible outcome would emerge in the coming days. Both sides are expected to commit themselves for the implementation of various projects and further bolstering their multifaceted cooperation.