Thursday June 20, 2024

China renews support to Pak integrity, sovereignty

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar issued a joint press release in which the issue of terrorism was also discussed

By Mariana Baabar
May 17, 2024
FM and Deputy PM Ishaq Dar meets Chinese Finance Minister Lan Foan in Beijing on May 16, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk
FM and Deputy PM Ishaq Dar meets Chinese Finance Minister Lan Fo'an in Beijing on May 16, 2024. — X/@ForeignOfficePk

ISLAMABAD: China has once again reiterated its steadfast support to Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, national independence and territorial integrity. The Chinese side has recognised Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices in combating terrorism over the years and both sides have called upon the international community to strengthen the counter-terrorism cooperation and expressed their firm opposition to the double standards on counter-terrorism.

At the conclusion of his visit to China, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar issued a joint press release in which the issue of terrorism was also discussed. Dar and his counterpart Wang Yi co-chaired the Fifth Round of the China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue in Beijing. The two sides reiterated their commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations with a “zero tolerance” attitude and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism and security through a comprehensive approach.

“The two sides strongly condemned the terrorist attack on the Chinese convoy of the Dasu Hydropower Project in Pakistan on March 26, 2024, and emphasized that no attempt to undermine China-Pakistan cooperation will ever succeed. In keeping with its ironclad friendship with China, the Pakistani side would hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice, take more effective security measures and make all-out efforts to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan,” said the joint press release.

Afghanistan, Kashmir and Gaza issues were also discussed by the two sides. Both sides underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia, the need for the resolution of all outstanding disputes and their opposition to any unilateral action.

“The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chinese side reiterated that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is a leftover from history and should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements,” added the statement.

During the dialogue, the two sides agreed to strengthen communication and coordination on the Afghanistan issue. They called for concerted efforts of the international community to help Afghanistan properly address challenges in such areas as the humanitarian situation and economic development and encourage Afghanistan to build an inclusive political framework, adopt moderate policies, pursue good neighbourliness and firmly combat terrorism, including not allowing its territory to be used for terrorist acts. Both sides agreed to play a positive and constructive role in helping Afghanistan achieve stable development and integrate into the international community.

A call was made to the international community asking it to increase input into the Palestinian question with a greater sense of urgency, step up efforts to facilitate the early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, and strive for enduring peace. The two sides reiterated that the fundamental way out of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution and establishment of an independent State of Palestine.

The strategic dialogue also focused on CPEC where they committed to working together to deepen and substantiate China’s eight major steps to support high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and forge an “upgraded version” of CPEC by jointly building a growth corridor, a livelihood-enhancing corridor, an innovation corridor, a green corridor and an open corridor, by aligning them with Pakistan’s development framework and priorities.

They also agreed to accelerate progress on major connectivity projects including the upgradation of ML-1, Gwadar Port, realignment of Karakoram Highway Phase II, strengthen cooperation in agriculture, industrial parks, mining, information technology and other fields according to local conditions, and enhance Pakistan’s capacity for sustainable development. The two sides believe that the Khunjerab Pass plays an important role in promoting bilateral trade and people-to-people exchanges, and agreed to speed up efforts to make sure that the Khunjerab Pass can function all year round.

Meanwhile, the 6th round of the Pakistan-United Kingdom Dialogue on Arms Control and Non-Proliferation was held in Islamabad. A broad spectrum of topics relating to arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation came under discussion during the dialogue. Both sides also shared their perspectives on issues concerning global and regional security, and new and emerging technologies, including the military use of artificial intelligence and the peaceful applications of nuclear technology.