PM Kakar felicitates 'all-weather' friend China on its 74th National Day

Prime minister terms Beijing as an anchor of peace and stability as well as the engine of development and progress in today's world

By Web Desk
October 01, 2023
Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. — APP/AFP/File

Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Sunday extended his warmest felicitations to Pakistan’s long-standing ally and 'all-weather friend' China on its 74th National Day.

In a statement on social media platform X, PM Kakar congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang and the Chinese nation. “Pakistan takes great pride in the achievements of our Iron Brother,” he added.

The PM termed Beijing as an anchor of peace and stability as well as the engine of development and progress in today's world.

Meanwhile, in his video message on the microblogging site, interim Information Minister Murtaza Solangi also felicitated China on its National Day.

He said the people of Pakistan share the spirit of the festivities of the National Day of China.

The minister expressed hope this year and many years ahead of us will reinforce our all-weather relationship and promote peace and progress for us and the world at large.

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani also extended his heartiest felicitations to Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the people of China on their National Day.

In his post on X, he said that they pay tribute to the rich history, culture, and achievements of this great nation and reiterate the resolve to take China-Pakistan's iron-clad friendship to greater heights.

In an interview with The Washington Post during his visit to New York to attend the 78th United Nations General Assembly session earlier this week, Premier Kakar had said that Pakistan was focusing on its own interests without choosing sides in the great power competition, and the West was "over-obsessed" with efforts to contain China.

Pakistan, he had also said, intended to stay "neutral" on Russia's war with Ukraine and saw China as its "all-weather friend" and "strategic partner".

"It's not a Cold War. There is no Iron Curtain here. It’s not that opaque. Everybody sees what is happening,” the prime minister had said.

He had further said the West was "over-obsessed" with efforts to contain China.

He had told the American newspaper that Pakistan was charting a path, designed to avoid getting caught up in the competition between the West and Russia and China.

PM Kakar had said Pakistan had no intention of committing to either camp in the growing US-China rivalry.

Last week, China had unveiled a white paper outlining its vision for building a global community of shared future, a concept initially proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi had emphasised that President Xi's visionary idea had illuminated the correct path for the world, fostering international cooperation and consensus over the past decade.

Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong, during a meeting with the Press Corps from Balochistan in Beijing last week, had said that Pakistan and China should engage in mutually beneficial cooperation which will benefit all Pakistani people.

Calling Pakistan and China “ironclad friends”, the top Chinese diplomat — who served as China's ambassador to Pakistan for three years from September 2020 to September 2023 — recalled that the two countries had always supported each other and stood together in times of difficulty.

Chinese bank rolls over $2.4bn loan to Pakistan

In a bid to help Islamabad overcome the economic crisis, the Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) rolled over $2.4 billion to Pakistan in July end.

Taking to X, then-finance minister Ishaq Dar had said the bank rolled over the amount for two years, which were due in the next two fiscal years — $1.2 billion in FY24 and the same amount in FY25.

"Pakistan will make interest payments only in both years," Dar had added.

This amount was in addition to the more than $5 billion in loans that Pakistan's iron-brother China had rolled over in the previous few months.

‘China will always stand firmly with Pakistan'

In his congratulatory message to the decade of CPEC celebration event held in Islamabad in July, President Xi had reiterated China’s unwavering support to Pakistan, saying: “No matter how the international landscape may change, China will always stand firmly with Pakistan”.

Speaking about the bilateral ties, President Xi had stressed that both countries will continue to improve overall planning and expand and deepen cooperation.

Pointing out that CPEC is an important pioneering project of the Belt and Road cooperation, Xi had said that China would work with Pakistan to further build CPEC into an exemplary project of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

He had added that both countries would work to aim for high-standard, sustainable and livelihood-enhancing outcomes. "Since its launch in 2013, China and Pakistan have been advancing CPEC under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and have achieved a number of early harvests."

Premier Xi had added China and Pakistan would continue to work hand in hand and forge ahead in solidarity to carry forward the ironclad friendship, coordinate development and security, pursue the cooperation of higher standards, broader scope and greater depth, and take the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership to new heights, so as to make an even greater contribution to peace and prosperity in the two countries and the broader region.