Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs has said that Pakistan and China enjoy brotherly ties, and history bears testimony to their valued friendship that has been supported by successive governments in both China and Pakistan. He was inaugurating the China-Pakistan Study Centre at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) today. In his inaugural address, he stated that this centre is a promising addition to dynamic platform of ISSI. He said that think tanks are the nerve centers for pursuance of research projects and scholarly exchange, and highlighted the role of think tanks and research institutes in providing vision, guidelines and knowledge creation.
He appreciated the excellent efforts of ISSI in taking valuable research initiatives. He said think tanks in Pakistan must be linked with their counterparts in China to enhance people-people cooperation and exchange of knowledge. He said that China’s rise is creating an atmosphere of harmonious prosperity and we are fortunate to be at the centre of this wave of economic connectivity. There is still room for closer cooperation, exchange of ideas exchange and knowledge sharing which will lead to common development. Creation of this centre is quite timely and pertinent and has the potential to produce high quality studies under the tutelage of Ambassador Khalid Mahmood.
Ambassador Sun Weidong remarked that he was pleased to attend the inauguration of this centre which is the latest outcome of the close cooperation between China and Pakistan. With this initiative, the level of interest in China Studies at ISSI has reached a brand new level. China’s example of becoming the second largest economy in the world through perseverance and hard work has been exemplary.
He elaborated that there were three reasons of this rapid development of China which are the dependable leadership of the Communist party of China, respecting the sovereignty of other nations and hard work of the Chinese people. He mentioned how CPEC being the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will further cement the ties between Pakistan and China. He recognized that ISSI has always attached great importance to China Studies and Pak-China ties. He commended the efforts of Ambassador Khalid Mahmood and all former director generals at the Institute for their personal efforts in introducing and promoting China Studies through their research and academic efforts. He pledged that the Chinese embassy will continue to extend its complete support for CPSC and ISSI for furthering China-Pakistan friendship. These two countries are all-weather friends and shall continue to enhance cooperation to take their partnership to new heights.
Earlier, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood Chairman ISSI in his welcome remarks said that the inauguration of CPSC at the Institute, symbolizes the ever-green friendship of the two countries. Ambassador Khalid Mahmood introduced the members of CPSC including the Director of CPSC Dr. Ahmed Rashid, and its research fellows Ms. Neelum Nigar, Mr. Muhammad Faisal, and Ali Haider. He went on to say that ever since the establishment of ISSI in 1973; it has advised successive governments on various matters of strategic significance. Likewise, CPSC as an integral part of the Institute will also conduct similar efforts in this background. The centre shall endeavor to provide research based inputs on various facets of Pak-China friendship which has consistently contributed to the peace and stability in South Asia. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the stimulus behind the launch of this centre, as we believe that CPEC while being economic in nature will also become a knowledge and research corridor. The dedicated aim of the centre will be to provide policy proposals on solidifying China Pakistan ties. Their findings will be published in form of books, reports and CPSC newsletter.
Mr. Sartaj Aziz and Ambassador Sun Weidong later visited the China Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) and met with the Director and researchers.