• Firdous says China has supported Pakistan on its core issues including the Kashmir.
  • Firdous says China will stand with Pakistan on vital issues as a strategic partner.
  • She says China helped Pakistan in overcoming the economic challenges last year.

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday said China and Pakistan were long term strategic partners and were persistently working together for peace and shared economic prosperity.

She was speaking as a chief guest at an event to celebrate 70 years of the founding of People's Republic of China, here at the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA).

Dr Firdous said China had supported Pakistan on its core issues, including the  Kashmir dispute, and that support continued after India revoked the special status of held Kashmir. “China will stand with Pakistan on vital issues as a strategic partner."

She said China helped Pakistan in overcoming the economic challenges last year.

Pakistan adhered to one China policy and supported China on the issues of Taiwan, Hong Kong and South China Sea, she added.

Expressing her feelings on behalf of people of Pakistan, she said as regional friend and international supporter, China stood with Pakistan through thick and thin.

“China is a friend in need and partner in strategic, economic social, defence and cultural matters," she said, adding the ties between Pakistan and China were not confined to their governments but were based on people-to-people and generation-to-generation contacts. China was helping Pakistan in capacity building, training and empowerment of its youth.

“Friendship of China and Pakistan is higher than Himalayas, deeper than oceans and sweeter than honey. Silk Road is the symbol of Pakistan-China friendship. We are one nation residing in two territories and having shared aims."

Dr Firdous said the way the project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was making progress, Pakistan would one day rise as an economic power.

She quoted the saying of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that one should seek knowledge even if one has to go to China ,and said China was leading the world in avenues of education, health, economy, technology and poverty alleviation.

The special assistant said China was celebrating 70 years of its founding and during the long period, the Chinese people emerged as a resilient nation that continued on the path of progress against all odds with untiring efforts and under a committed leadership.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said the Chinese community in Pakistan was a special link between Pakistan and China.

He said the relations between the two countries dated back even before the creation of Pakistan. In ancient times, the Chinese traded with the territory now in Pakistan through the ancient Silk route.

Pakistan and China had close friendship and had cooperated with each other on important projects, he added.

He criticised India for its hegemonic designs and tyranny in the occupied Kashmir and for its extremist RSS and Hindutva ideology.

He said Narendra Modi had buried the secular face of India and acted with barbarity in the occupied Kashmir by imposing curfew, and denying food and medicines to the Kashmiris living under siege.

The minister said the new era of development in the world would rise from the East. China was a big economic power sending a message to the world that by keeping one's head down and pursuing education, technological advancement and institutional reforms a country could make huge progress, he said, adding Pakistan and other countries should follow the path set by China.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing acknowledged the special link that was formed between the two countries by the Chinese community living in Pakistan.

“The overseas Chinese community in Pakistan will bring the two countries together."

On behalf of the Chinese government, he thanked the Chinese community for development of China, Sino-Pak friendship and for taking forward the project of CPEC.

He said China-Pakistan friendship had developed for 70 years. Pakistan was the first country to recognize China and the first Islamic country to establish diplomatic relations with its neighbour, he recalled.

The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was the first airline to start flights to Shanghai and Beijing and trained Chinese pilots, he added.

The relationship of China with Pakistan, he said, had entered new a phase and both were working for peace and stability of the world and region. “The two countries will stand firmly for peace and progress of the region."

The envoy said the CPEC project under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan had entered the stage of industrial and economic cooperation.

“The friendship of Pakistan and China will grow from strength to strength."

The speeches were followed by a colourful cultural show. The artists performed Sindhi Jhoomer dance while Xinjiang Uyghur dance was performed by Nazish Farooq and Kashmiri dance by another Pakistani performer.