ISLAMABAD: A top Chinese official said on Thursday Pakistan occupied a unique place in Beijing’s neighborhood diplomacy, adding his country would support the core interests of the South Asian state and work for its economic prosperity.
The reiteration of China’s commitment to Pakistan’s development and diplomacy was made in a conversation that took place between Chinese Vice President Han Zheng and Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly session in New York.
The two leaders exchanged views on a wide range of issues, including a multibillion-dollar joint economic corridor project bilateral economic and financial cooperation.
The Pakistani prime minister acknowledged his country’s strategic partnership with China, thanking the government in Beijing for its unflinching support to Pakistan’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and socio-economic development.
“In his remarks, Vice President Han said that Pakistan-China friendship is unique and has withstood the vicissitude of time due to deep fraternal ties between the peoples of two nations,” said a statement released by Kakar’s office after the meeting.
“He added that as a close neighbor and iron-brother, Pakistan occupies a special position in China’s neighborhood diplomacy and that China would continue its efforts for safeguarding Pakistan’s core interests and for the economic development and prosperity of the people of Pakistan,” it continued.
Both leaders expressed satisfaction at the steady development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and agreed to further enhance their cooperation on multilateral forums.
REVITALIZING US RELATIONSHIP
Later, the prime minister addressed an American think tank, Council on Foreign Relations, highlighting that his country’s partnership with Washington spanned over decades while expressing his desire to further “revitalize” it.
He maintained that his country wanted to pursue its own interests and did not want to indulge in bloc politics.
Kakar also said the US-Pakistan relation had witnessed “brisk momentum,” adding its broad-based nature made it difficult for anyone to view it “through the lens of another country.”
“The United States is our largest export destination,” he continued. “Over the past year, Pakistan’s total exports to the US reached an impressive $8.4 billion. We need to work on US investment in Pakistan. As caretaker prime minister, I am making a priority to improve Pakistan’s business climate and attract US capital and expertise.”
The prime minister noted that over 80 US enterprises were already operating in Pakistan, contributing to the mutual prosperity of the two countries.
“This constitutes a good infrastructure for investment on which we build further investment partnership,” he added.
MINING SECTOR INVESTMENT
Earlier in the day, the prime minister met Jakob Stausholm, the chief executive officer of a leading global mining conglomerate Rio Tinto Group, asking him to consider investing in his country’s mineral sector.
Kakar highlighted Pakistan’s vast untapped mineral reserves which, he said, valued over $6 trillion of gold, copper, and rare earth metals.
He also mentioned the newly established Special Investment Facilitation Council in Pakistan, saying it was providing a single-window platform to foreign investors.
“He emphasized the significance of the mining sector as a priority for FDI [foreign direct investment], leveraging Pakistan’s abundant natural resources,” said a statement circulated by the PM Office.