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CPEC second phase to reinforce economic development: PM

Discusses current trajectory of Pakistan-China ties, evolving regional, international scenario with Chinese FM

Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said the ongoing second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would reinforce Pakistan’s efforts for economic development with enhanced cooperation in areas such as industrial development, agriculture and information technology.

In a meeting with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the 48th Session of Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Conference, the prime minister also asked the Chinese investors to benefit from attractive opportunities in Pakistan. The prime minister and the Chinese state councilor discussed the current trajectory of Pakistan-China bilateral ties and the evolving regional and international scenario.

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The two sides discussed the situation in Ukraine and reiterated the need for a solution through sustained dialogue and diplomacy. Prime Minister Imran Khan briefed Wang Yi on India’s egregious human rights violations in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and its irresponsible behaviour that is an impediment to regional peace and security. H also spoke about the so-called “accidental” firing of a missile from India into Pakistan’s territory, underlined Pakistan’s call for a joint probe and stressed the need to ensure that this did not occur again.

He also emphasized that both countries must continue deeper engagement to promote peace and stability in Afghanistan and avert a humanitarian crisis there.

Separately, Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al Saud called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday and discussed matters of mutual interest. The prime minister underscored the special significance of the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship which, he said, was based on close fraternal ties, historic links, and support at the grassroots level.

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Recalling his visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2021, the prime minister took stock of the latest developments and stressed the importance of exploring new avenues of cooperation to further deepen bilateral relations in diverse fields. Khan commended the leadership role of the Kingdom for advancing the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) into a vital platform for the Islamic world’s causes.

Recalling the issues faced by the Islamic world, the prime minister stressed the need for enhanced cooperation for addressing the myriad of challenges confronting the Ummah. Highlighting the contemporary challenge of Islamophobia affecting Muslims around the world, the prime minister underscored the importance of collective action by the OIC member states for dealing with this pernicious phenomenon.

Views were also exchanged on various regional and international issues. The situation in Afghanistan and the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) came under discussion. The prime minister thanked the Saudi FM for the Kingdom’s steadfast support for the just cause of Jammu and Kashmir. Prince Farhan congratulated the prime minister on the successful holding of the 48th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad.

On a separate note, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said 23rd March is the day for the nation to renew its commitment to adhere to the principles of justice and equity – the real objective of the creation of Pakistan. In a message on the occasion of Pakistan Day on March 23, he said, “Today, we pay tribute to the Father of the Nation and all the leaders of the Freedom Movement who struggled to unite the nation through their unparalleled sacrifices.

It is important for our youth to note that Pakistan came into being through a long democratic struggle and now the key to its stability and development also lies in hard work, honesty and morality.

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