ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said Pakistan believed the Chinese version of events on the Xinjiang situation and highlighted Western bias in this regard.
In an interaction with the Chinese media, the premier said it is hypocritical that there is no mention of the worst human rights violations being carried out in the Indian occupied Kashmir in the western media.
“There are UN Security Council resolutions on the Kashmir dispute which accept the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people,” he pointed out.
This is for the first time that PM Imran has publicly spoken on the matter and endorsed Chinese side.
Previously, whenever he was asked about the Xinjiang situation by the foreign media outlets, he had told them that the two countries talk behind closed doors.
‘Pak-China ties will not change under any pressure’
Taking a jibe at the US, the premier said it is inappropriate to pressure countries to take sides, stressing that ties between Pakistan and China will not be affected by any sort of pressure.
The prime minister said that Islamabad's ties with Beijing will not change, despite any amount of pressure on Pakistan.
“The United States expects Pakistan to choose a side. This is not appropriate," he stressed.
“The relationship between Pakistan and China is very deep, it’s not just the governments, but it’s a people-to-people relationship,” he added.
“Whatever will happen…[the] relationship between our two countries, no matter what pressure is put on us, is not going to change,” the prime minister said in response to a question.
He mentioned the US-sponsored regional alliance, ‘Quad’ including India and a couple of other countries, and said it was part of a great power rivalry in the region that could create problems.
“Pakistan thinks that it is very unfair of the US and other western powers……[to ask]…for countries like Pakistan to take sides. Why should we take sides? We should have a good relationship with everyone,” he said.
The prime minister said when Pakistan had been in trouble politically or internationally or was involved in conflicts with its neighbour, China always stood by it.
The people of China have a special place in the hearts of the people of Pakistan, he said.
“You remember friends who stand with you in all times. In good times, everyone stands with you, but in difficult, tough, and bad times, you remember those people who stood by you.”
PM Khan praised President Xi for his success in the fight against poverty and corruption in China.
“China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty in a few years, which is a great achievement. We want to further develop political, economic and trade relations between the two countries.”
PM Khan said that Pakistanis are impressed by the Chinese president's fight against corruption and consider him “a great politician of modern times”.
“President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign is effective and successful.”
'CPC is a unique model'
Felicitating China on the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, the premier said it a unique model and flexible enough to accommodate change.
The premier was of the view that the Chinese system is better than Western democracy.
"China's process to hunt talent and then polish it is better than any electoral democracy."
In our society and western countries, he said, it is difficult to bring changes and that it is always not possible to do what is better for the society.
"China's success lies in the ability of its system to accept change."
PM Imran Khan said a high-level committee has also been constituted to monitor progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects and make sure there is no impediment in their way.
The premier said he is also going to Gwadar next week to oversee the pace of corridor related projects. He said his visit to China is also in the offing which will focus on further strengthen the bilateral relationship.
He said Pakistan hopes to attract the Chinese industries in the Special Economic Zones being established under the second phase of the CPEC.
He said we are also looking to benefit from the Chinese expertise in the agriculture sector to bolster the productivity of this sector of the economy.
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