BEIJING, China, May 18: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said China has supported Pakistan’s cause at international level by telling the United States to appreciate sacrifices of Pakistan in war on terror and avoid harming its sovereignty. “China supported Pakistan’s cause on its own,” Gilani said while referring to the recent Sino-US strategic and economic dialogue in Washington, where the Chinese leadership conveyed to the US that Pakistan should be helped and its honour should be upheld keeping in view its sacrifices in war on terror. Prime Minister Gilani after holding talks with the Chinese Premier told the Pakistani media here that Pakistan faced challenges in the wake of killing of Osama Bin Laden and Premier Wen was categorical in supporting Pakistan’s stance as well as its concerns over national honour and sovereignty.
He said the Chinese conveyed a clear message to the US that “there should be no harm to the Pakistani sovereignty and the US should understand and appreciate concerns of Pakistan”. The Prime Minister said that China asked the US to work with Pakistan in improving their bilateral relations in view of the present scenario. Gilani said that Pakistan reassured its position on its policy of One China and said Pakistan fully supports China on the issues of Taiwan and Tibet. He said both sides agreed to continue their consultations on the UN reforms. He said both the sides were in agreement to further enhance economic and trade relations and complete all ongoing development projects in Pakistan under five-year development programme. The Prime Minister said that it was also decided to work on fast track on the second five-year programme beginning next year. It was also agreed that the dialogue on the second phase of Free Trade Agreement will be launched soon, he added.
The Prime Minister said that it was also agreed that both the countries will form a long-term joint energy mechanism to address the energy crisis in Pakistan for electricity generation through various means including nuclear.
To a question, he said that both the sides also agreed to further increase defence cooperation and China assured to help Pakistan in enhancing capacity of all its forces.
Regarding relation with other countries, the Prime Minister said Pakistan desires good relations with all neighbours including India, Afghanistan and Iran. He said despite the security situation in Pakistan, its bilateral trade with China has registered significant increase during the last two years and the efforts are being made to take the trade level to $ 15 billion. Gilani said Pakistani exports to China increased by 37 percent during the last year while Chinese exports increased by 28 percent. To a question about Pak-US relations after the Abbottabad operation, the Prime Minister referred to a resolution adopted by the joint sitting of parliament, and said Pakistan will revisit it relations vis-a-vis counter-terrorism cooperation with the United States. He, however, also mentioned the recent visit of Senator John Kerry to Pakistan as well as the joint statement issued after the meetings with Pakistan leadership and said that it has been decided that in future, if any information comes about High Value Target, Pakistan and the United States will conduct a joint operation. The Prime Minister said that Pakistan has the capability and capacity to defend its frontiers, adding, Pakistan’s Armed Forces are fully vigilant and no such incident will happen in future.
He said during the recent visit of Senator John Kerry, the issue of drone attacks was also raised and Pakistan will continue its efforts to stop these attacks which have proved to be counter-productive. To a question Gilani said that any decision about operation in North Waziristan will be taken by the political and military leadership. Pakistani Ambassador to China Masood Khan told the mediapersons that China will help Pakistan to check its trade deficit and will send a special purchase mission for procurement of Pakistani goods to enhance its exports to China. He said China will provide Pakistan over $ 400 million including $100 million soft credit and a grant of 70 million RMB for the post-flood reconstruction and development projects. He said that ICBC (Bank of China) will open its two branches in Pakistan and National Bank of Pakistan will also open its branch in China. Ambassador Masood Khan said that China has agreed to provide 500 scholarships to Pakistani students. Both the countries also decided to set up cultural centers on both sides to promote cultural cooperation. He said that China will treat 1000 cataract (eye disease) patients from Pakistan and conduct their surgery in China. – app