Islamabad: Pakistan and China would together fight terrorism to root it out, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday addressing a joint sitting of parliament’s both houses, which was convened to honour visiting Chinese President XI Jinping.
“Our joint efforts against terrorism have succeeded so far but we need to intensify our efforts,” Sharif said.
Talking about the mega Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, Sharif said: “It is a catalytic project that will help us combine the geo-economic streams of our countries.”
“The corridor symbolises our commitment to create win-win partnerships which threaten none and benefit all,” he added.
Sharif said young entrepreneurs, academics, media persons, teachers, students and professionals from both countries will sustain their friendship and make it even more productive.
Before Sharif, Xi addressed the joint sitting and described Pakistan as China’s “dependable” friend, stressing that bilateral ties are based on mutual trust and support.
“As soon as I set foot on this beautiful soil, my colleagues and I were immediately immersed in the ocean of warmth and friendship. I felt like returning to the home of my own brother,” the visiting president said.
Xi arrived in Islamabad on Monday on his first official visit to Pakistan. The two countries have agreed to elevate their ties to an all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.
“The Chinese people will always stand together with the Pakistani people,” Xi told Pakistan’s parliament.
The two countries should support each other on their core interests and be “the most reliable partners”, Xi said, stressing that China firmly backed Pakistan’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
“So long as our hearts always follow the direction of what our two peoples expect and our strength is always exerted toward such a direction, we can surely overcome all difficulties and obstacles on the way ahead,” Xi said.
Praising Pakistan’s anti-terror efforts, Xi said that Islamabad has always stood on the frontlines in the war on terrorism, and has made great sacrifices for and outstanding contributions to the peace and stability in the region and the world at large.
Xi also said China supported Pakistan’s constructive role on the Afghanistan issue.
Speaking of the relationship between China and South Asia, Xi said that China was the largest neighbour of South Asian countries, and that a peaceful, stable and prosperous South Asia conformed to China’s interests.
“China is willing to align its development strategies with those of South Asian countries to achieve mutually beneficial development and common prosperity,” he said.
China stood ready to be a sincere partner of South Asian countries and enhance cooperation with them, said the visiting president.
“The Chinese side is willing to, within the framework of South-South cooperation, offer assistance and support to South Asian countries within its own capacity,” he said.
Earlier, Xi attended the inauguration of a project named Green Parliament, which is designed to provide the Parliament House with solar energy.
After the joint sitting, Xi and Sharif took a traditional tonga ride to reach Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president’s house, where the Chinese leader was conferred with Pakistan’s highest civilian award Nishan-e-Pakistan by President Mamnoon Hussain in a brief ceremony.
Later Tuesday, Xi left for Indonesia to attend an Asian-African summit and activities to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference.