Islamabad (Web Desk): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday held a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Counterpart Li Keqiang and affirmed the resolve to fast-track the ongoing and new projects under the transformational China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
According to statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), PM Shehbaz said that CPEC has immensely contributed to the socio-economic development of Pakistan and also realize its high-quality development.
The premier underscored the need for both sides to work together and enhance cooperation between the concerned agencies of the two countries to fully operationalize the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as soon as possible.
"While recalling Pakistan-China sister-city partnerships, PM Shehbaz expressed his desire to learn from the experience of those Chinese officials who have remained instrumental in setting up SEZs in their provinces," the statement said.
PM Shehbaz also expressed his commitment to working with renewed zeal and enthusiasm, in concert with China, especially on projects of strategic significance for both the countries, such as ML-1 project.
He thanked the neighbouring country for its firm support to "Pakistan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national development and reaffirmed his government’s unwavering support to China on all issues of its core interest."
The two leaders also discussed bilateral matters in detail, agreeing that Pakistan and China would not allow anyone to harm the long-standing partnership between the two countries.
PM Shehbaz also offered his condolences to the government and people of China and expressed sympathies with the families of victims of the heinous terrorist attack that took place at the Karachi University on April 26 in which three Chinese scholars lost their lives.
The prime minister strongly condemned the terrorist attack and reaffirmed Pakistan’s firm resolve to hold thorough investigation, to apprehend the perpetrators of this criminal act and to bring them to justice in accordance with our laws.
He reiterated that Islamabad attaches the highest importance to the safety, security and protection of all Chinese nationals working in Pakistan on economic projects and institutions and assured Premier Li that the government was determined to take the necessary measures for their enhanced security and safety in Pakistan.
Emphasising people-to-people contacts, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also conveyed sentiments of the families of the Pakistani students who are desirous of retuning to China for resumption of their studies.
"Premier Li assured the prime minister of China’s readiness to enhance economic cooperation, expand trade and encourage greater investments from China to Pakistan," the PMO statement said.
Both the leaders shared the view that the "Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership" must continue to serve the vital interests of the peoples of the two countries, as well as the broader interests of peace and stability amidst the evolving regional and global milieu.
To this end, the two sides agreed to enhance the momentum of exchanges to take bilateral cooperation to even higher levels.