On Thursday, PML-N President and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif paid a visit to the Chinese High Commission in Islamabad and met with Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong, and discussed China Pakistan relations.
He was accompanied by former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Mushahid Hussain, and PML-N Secretary of Information Marriyum Aurangzeb.
This was Shahbaz’s first meeting with the Chinese ambassador after his appointment, and it took place in a friendly environment. Shahbaz greeted the ambassador and wished him well in his new role. According to him, Pakistanis consider China to be a second home and vice versa.
He described China as an outstanding partner and friend of Pakistan, saying that this relationship evolved into a long-term and powerful economic partnership during Nawaz Sharif’s reign. This, he said, signaled the beginning of a new age in Pakistan-China relations, one in which the relationship has grown deeper than seas, higher than the Himalayas, and sweeter than honey.
He expressed gratitude to China and its citizens, saying that China aided Pakistan in an exemplary manner during the coronavirus pandemic. China’s contribution can be memorialized in gold terms in history, from sending gloves, medics, and equipment to contributing vaccines. Every Pakistani is proud of their Chinese brothers and sisters, he said, and only a true friend could have helped in this way.
Shahbaz said that the Belt and Road initiative’s flagship project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), is a source of growth not only for Pakistan but for the entire country and paid glowing tribute to President Xi Jinping’s determination and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s dedication, both of which have the potential to change the futures of not only the peoples of the two nations but the entire country.
He said that Nawaz Sharif made it possible for the majority of CPEC projects to be completed or near completion in just three years, adding that this was accomplished despite an ailing economy and 18 hours of power outages, but China held Pakistan’s hand and guided it to prosperity. He praised God Almighty for the safety of the Chinese diplomats during the Quetta Blast. This was a plot to sabotage relations between the two countries, adding that the Pakistan government is responsible for the safety of all Chinese citizens in the country. The Chinese ambassador expressed his gratitude for Shahbaz’s visit and wished him well. He said he was familiar with Shahbaz due to his Punjab Pace.
Shahbaz’s efforts as Punjab’s chief minister were remarkable and commendable, he added. He admitted that he couldn’t stop himself from thanking Shahbaz for his ability to deliver because he had seen it firsthand as a mayor in China.
Nong Rong believes the two countries will learn in the future from Shahbaz Sharif’s ideas, strategies, and results. The ambassador said that Nawaz Sharif is a long-time friend of China and that Beijing never forgets its neighbors. He sent his best wishes to Nawaz Sharif. He said that he agreed with Shahbaz’s viewpoint that countries cannot develop without industrialization. The theory of industrial zones will help to realize this vision. He thanked Shahbaz Sharif’s contributions during his visit to the Sahiwal power plant. Nong Jong said that this is the world’s fastest-built project. It has been inaugurated six months ahead of schedule in May 2017.
Shahbaz was welcomed to China by the ambassador to celebrate the Communist Party of China’s 100th anniversary in July 2021. Shahbaz expressed gratitude to the ambassador for the invitation and promised that Pakistan and the PML-N would make sure that the day was completely commemorated. He promised that the Communist Party of China and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would get closer.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Shahbaz Sharif met with Dr. Christian Turner, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan. The meeting included former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and PML-N Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb.
Shahbaz praised the British for their assistance to Pakistan during the coronavirus outbreak. He expressed his regrets to the British high commissioner over the deaths of the COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.
He said that, at a time when the pandemic has engulfed the whole earth, humanity must band together to combat this scourge, which threatens humanity’s existence. He said that bilateral ties between the United Kingdom and Pakistan have a long history. The UK is like a second home for Pakistanis, which is a special feature of this partnership.
He added that strengthening cooperation between the two countries is in their mutual interest and that the Pakistani community in the UK plays an important role in fostering relations between the two countries. At Prince Philip’s funeral, he expressed his condolences to the Duke of Edinburgh and the royal family. For the late Prince Philip, a minute of silence was held.
Regional issues were also addressed, including the removal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Dr. Christian Turner wished Shahbaz good luck and a happy Ramadan.