Sep 06, 2019: As early-harvest phase of China-Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) successfully approached its logical conclusion, both Pakistan and China are now stepping up preparations for a new stage of higher-quality development, Pakistan's Ambassador to China Naghmana Hashmi Thursday said.
“As CPEC’s early-harvest phase successfully approaches its logical conclusion, both sides are now stepping up preparation for a new stage of higher-quality development,” she said while addressing a gathering here during screening of “Iron Brother”, a documentary on Pakistan-China friendship and CPEC.
She said,“Even as we strengthen our efforts to complete implementation of all agreed projects on schedule, we are looking ahead to the new phase of industrial development, agricultural modernization and economic cooperation.” Those aspects of the CPEC, the ambassador said, were complemented by other initiatives of the government to achieve the goal of Pakistan’s prosperity and realize the aspirations of people for better lives.
“Our focus on socio-economic cooperation includes poverty alleviation, low-cost housing, healthcare, education, vocational training, and access to clean water,” she added.
She said the efforts were in tandem with a simultaneous focus on environmental conservation and restoration. “Our two great countries are fully aware that the peace and stability of the region will greatly benefit from our collective efforts to promote the well-being of the people through CPEC.” Sharing the history of Pakistan-China relations, she said, “We have always stood together through thick and thin. China is our true friend and staunchest partner, and friendship with China is the cornerstone of our foreign policy.
“Guided by the consensus of our leaders, this unique friendship continues to grow from strength to strength, undeterred by regional and global development,” she added.
Ambassador Hashmi said,“We profoundly appreciate China’s consistent and unshakeable support to Pakistan on all our core issues of national interest.” Likewise, Pakistan remained ever-ready to extend every possible support and assistance to the Chinese brethren, she added.
Recalling the historic visits of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Pakistan, and that of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China in 2018, she said those visits had given a new impetus to the efforts for enhancing their 'all weather strategic cooperative partnership' and building a closer 'Pakistan-China community of shared future in the new era'.
“In April 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan again visited China for second Belt and Road Forum, where he addressed the opening ceremony and the Leaders' Roundtable alongside President Xi and other world leaders,” she added.
Ambassador Hashmi said as an old friend of China, Pakistan shared the joy of the Chinese brothers and sisters at their phenomenal economic development and prosperity.
“We admire China’s success in getting a new example for developing countries to forge their own development paths,” she added.
Terming the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) a landmark transformative project of the 21st Century, she said,”We have always been amongst the first supporters of the Belt and Road. Likewise, the CPEC is the flagship project and forerunner of the BRI.” She said through enhanced economic cooperation under the aegis of the BRI and CPEC, Pakistan was fully prepared to promote shared goal of common prosperity, inclusive development and peace and stability between the two countries.
She said Pakistan’s strategic priorities included consolidation of all-weather strategic cooperative partnership with China, peaceful neighbourhood, a stable Pakistan, and effective and smooth implementation of the CPEC.
“All stakeholders in Pakistan and all cross- sections of society are unanimous in their support for China-Pakistan friendship and CPEC,” she added.
Underlining the efforts of Chinese friends and partners who were contributing to CPEC, she said they were honoured guests and friends, and no efforts would be spared to ensure their safety and security.
She expressed the confidence that Pakistan and China would overcome any and all hindrances on the path to their shared goal through cooperation and concerted action.
Appreciating the screening of the documentary on the time honoured friendship between Pakistan and China, she said it would highlight the shared valued and the tangible benefits of increasingly wide ranging collaboration between Pakistan and China through CPEC and BRI.
She commended the work of Daily Mail and Makhdoom Babar in promoting Pakistan- China friendship and the CPEC, saying the Embassy of Pakistan was ready to support the important work from all walks of life.
The media organizations had an important role to play in promoting mutual understanding, and factual appreciation of CPEC and Pakistan-China ties, she added.
A large number of diplomats, senior officials, media outlets and members of Pakistan community were present.