Pak, China reaffirm ties during high-level anti-terror talks

07 February 2017

Pakistan and China on Monday held high level counter-terrorism talks, days after Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed was put under house arrest in Lahore.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi met Chinese State Commissioner for Counter Terrorism and Security Cheng Guoping who is in Islamabad on a three-day visit and reviewed all aspects of the bilateral relationship, with a special focus on security and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Fatemi said Pakistan viewed its relationship with China as the ''cornerstone'' of its foreign policy and the country will continue to support Beijing on all its issues of core interest, including combating the ''evils'' of terrorism and separatism.

''The SAPM affirmed that friendship with China was the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy,'' the foreign office quoted Fatemi as saying.

He said Pakistan supported China on all its core issues, while firmly opposing any attempt to undermine China's sovereignty.

''Pakistan will continue to support China's efforts to combat the three evils of terrorism, extremism and separatism,'' Fatemi said in a statement.

Appreciating China's forthright position on Pakistan's counter-terrorism strategy and its successes, Fatemi thanked China for its support to Pakistan's national security and territorial integrity.

The talks take place days after Saeed was put under house arrest in Lahore by the Pakistan government after Punjab Province's interior ministry issued an order in pursuance to a directive from the Federal interior ministry on 27 January.

During the talks, both sides noted that the all-weather friendship between the two countries has withstood the test of time, notwithstanding changes in the international, regional and domestic environments.

Noting the importance of CPEC for the economic development of Pakistan, the two sides stressed that timely completion of the $46 billion project would not only give a boost to Pakistan's economy, but would also significantly contribute towards regional connectivity, peace and development.

Fatemi stated that Pakistan was fully committed to the timely and effective implementation of all the projects under CPEC.

Cheng said China attached great importance to its relations with Pakistan, and supports its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

He thanked Pakistan for its consistent support to China on issues of core interest and lauded Islamabad for its fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at the continuing progress in bilateral relations in all fields and expressed their resolve to work towards further solidifying political relations, deepening economic bonds and security cooperation and closer people-to-people contacts to achieve the common goal of China-Pakistan ''Community of Shared Destiny''.


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