LAHORE: A delegation of the China Peoples Institute of Foreign Affairs, led by its Vice President Mr. Lu Shumin called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here Wednesday.
Matters of mutual interest and promotion of bilateral ties were discussed at the meeting. The Chief Minister expressed his best wishes for the success of new Chinese leadership.
Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Provincial Minister Ch. Abdul Ghafoor, Special Advisor Kh. Salman Rafiq, Advisor Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, Parliamentarians Pervaiz Malik, Hafiz Mian Muhammad Nauman, senior officers of Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry Mr. Han Hongcai, Mr. Qian Junjun, Miss Ren Jia, Consular Chinese Embassy Mr. Zhang Lianyou, Mr. Liu Yangjun and other concerned officials were present.
The Chief Minister said that China is a trusted and sincere friend of Pakistan who has given allout support to Pakistan in case of any need like wars, floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters. The people of Pakistan also wholeheartedly respect the Chinese government and the people. The PakChina friendship has strengthened with the passage of time and now it has turned into strategic ties.
Pakistan Muslim LeagueN President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has played a vital role in strengthening PakChina relations. China has achieved a prominent place in the comity of nations due to its untiring efforts, determined leadership and technology. The rapid development of China is a role model for Pakistan and the whole world. It is expected that new Chinese leadership will take this development to new heights like its previous leadership.
Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that we want more Chinese cooperation for the promotion of trade and investment, sharing of technology and other fields. He stressed the need for more coordinated efforts in the fields of education and health, and the eradication of poverty. This is not the age of wars, but of economic and trade cooperation. Development and progress could only be achieved by fighting economic war. Pakistan can learn from the experiments of China in the financial development.
Discussing the regional situation, Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said extremism and terrorism have badly disturbed economic activities. In the war against terrorism, Pakistan has rendered more sacrifices than any other regional country. He said the peace in Pakistan, and regional progress and development is linked to peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The Chief Minister said that the unprecedented corruption of the federal rulers has not only damaged Pakistan’s image at the international level, but national resources are also shrinking. Despite all these odds, the Muslim LeagueN government in Punjab has taken concrete steps for the welfare and development of the masses. He said that revolutionary steps have been taken in education, health, job generation and other sectors.
He said that record development funds have been earmarked to remove sense of deprivation in the people of South Punjab. For the welfare of the people of South Punjab, more funds than any other part of the province in relation to population have been allocated. He said the Rs. 30 billion metro bus project launched to provide best and comfortable travelling facilities to the people is nearing completion at a fast pace. He said if the provincial government had launched the underground railway project, it would have cost much more and could have taken five years for completion. He accepted the offer of the Chinese delegation to visit China and promised he would visit Beijing after the forthcoming general elections.
Talking to the Chief Minister, Mr. Lu Shumin said China values its relation with Pakistan and wants to enhance its cooperation in various fields. He said China would continue unconditional support to Pakistan. The Chinese delegation presented a New Year card and conveyed the message of the best wishes to Pakistan Muslim LeagueN President Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on behalf of the Chinese leadership.