ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China next month to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Beijing Olympics and hold discussions on bilateral ties between the two countries, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said on Thursday.
The announcement that PM Imran Khan will attend the event follows a boycott announced by Western countries.
The United States, Britain, Australia, and Canada have announced a diplomatic boycott of the event, while North Korea was the latest country to pull out, citing the pandemic.
Though athletes from around the world will travel to compete in the four-yearly event, no dignitaries from these western countries are expected to watch the games.
The prime minister will arrive in Beijing for a three day official visit — from February 3 to 5 — at the invitation of the Chinese leadership. During his visit, he will hold important meetings with China’s top leadership, said the spokesperson during his weekly news briefing in the federal capital.
China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), strategic cooperation between the two countries, bilateral ties, trade and other issues will be discussed during the meetings, the spokesperson said.
Iftikhar said Pakistan welcomes the Global Development Initiative put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping as a timely and well-intentioned step to facilitate implementation of the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development. He noted it will help promote international cooperation required to overcome the triple challenges faced by the world of COVID-19, the economic crisis due to it, and climate change.
Responding to a question, the spokesperson said that Pakistan and China are strong development partners and "we look forward to further strengthening this partnership under China's Global Development Initiative".
Replying to another query, the spokesperson said that Pakistan remains committed for peaceful relations with its neighbours including India. He, however, said the onus is on India to create an enabling environment for dialogue. He regretted that there is no visible change in the hostile attitude and negative behaviour of India.
Iftikhar said Pakistan will continue to highlight the Kashmir dispute and the rights of oppressed Kashmiri people at all the international forums.
‘Another false flag operation’
He said there is a real possibility that India might stage another false flag operation to complicate the current situation. He said Pakistan "continues to alert our friends in the international community about this prospect".
The spokesperson urged the international community to take immediate notice of the Indian state-terrorism in occupied Jammu and Kashmir and hold India accountable for the egregious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the occupied valley.
— With additional input from Radio Pakistan.
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