After Shehbaz Sharif became the 23rd prime minister of Pakistan and was officially sworn into his office on April 11, congratulatory messages from the heads of the states of different countries, including Russia, started pouring in.
On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin also sent his felicitations to the newly appointed prime minister and, according to a statement by Russia's embassy in Pakistan, said that he hopes Shehbaz's activities will "contribute to further development of the Pakistan-Russia cooperation and partner interaction on the Afghan settlement as well as countering international terrorism."
Prior to Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and India's Narendra Modi had also congratulated Shehbaz on his election.
Shehbaz was sworn in as the prime minister on April 11, 2022, following the successful ouster of PTI chief Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion, making him the first premier to be ousted through the democratic process.
Meanwhile, according to the PM's Office, Charge d’ Affaires of China Pang Chunxue paid a courtesy call on PM Shehbaz Sharif at the Prime Minister’s House.
The PM's Office, in the statement, said she conveyed warm felicitations and good wishes of the Chinese government and leadership on the assumption of office by the prime minister.
The Charge d’ Affaires emphasised that the prime minister was viewed as a strong and committed friend of China and enjoyed great respect and admiration in her country.
She also lauded the prime minister’s contribution to promoting China-Pakistan Economic Cooperation during the years that he was chief minister of Punjab.
While conveying his warm greetings and gratitude to the Chinese leadership, the prime minister recalled his many visits to China, during which he had the pleasure and honour of meeting with President Xi Jinping, who had taken a personal interest in promoting relations with Pakistan.
The prime minister appreciated CPEC’s continued progress as the flagship project of President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative and its importance for the economic development and prosperity of Pakistan.
He affirmed the government’s resolve to speed up to high-quality development of CPEC projects and make it a symbol of China-Pakistan friendship and close partnership. He underlined the importance of enhanced investment from China in industrialisation, agriculture, and digital technologies.
Recalling his close cooperation with China as chief minister of Punjab, the prime minister reaffirmed the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between Pakistan and China as a cornerstone of Pakistan’s policy and factor for regional peace and stability.
He underscored that friendship with China resided in the hearts of the people of Pakistan, and China was Pakistan’s strongest friend and closest partner.
The prime minister affirmed his government’s commitment to further deepening the win-win economic cooperative partnership between the two countries.
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