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Xi voices concern about safety of Chinese nationals in Pakistan

INTERNATIONAL DESK: Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday expressed his “great concern” about the safety of Chinese nationals in Pakistan, and conveyed his hope that its all-weather partner will provide a reliable and safe environment for Chinese institutions in the country.

President Xi conveyed this concern when he met with Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on his official visit to China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today.

“President Xi expressed his great concern about the safety of Chinese nationals in Pakistan, and conveyed his hope that Pakistan will provide a reliable and safe environment for Chinese institutions and personnel working on cooperation projects there,” the official statement from the Chinese said.

This follows the recent surge in targeted attacks on Chinese nationals in Pakistan by ethnic rebel groups. In the wake of increasing attacks, Beijing has expressed concerns about the inadequate security measures by Islamabad.

After the Karachi university bombing in April this year, the Pakistani media reports said the Shehbaz Sharif government has decided to bear the security costs of almost all Chinese projects.

In a joint statement today, both sides also expressed their strong determination to counter all threats and designs against CPEC and China-Pakistan friendship.

“Pakistan reaffirmed its commitment to the safety and security of all Chinese personnel, projects and institutions in Pakistan. The Chinese side appreciated Pakistan’s strong determination and vigorous measures in this regard,” the statement read.

During his meeting with Xi, Shehbaz Sharif congratulated Xi on the successful conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress. “He lauded the central role of the CPC and its leadership in promoting China’s development, prosperity and national rejuvenation,” the statement read.

He reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to further strengthen and deepen the “All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” and enhance practical cooperation in all areas. The two sides also exchanged views on bilateral relations, as well as, the regional situation and international political landscape.

“The two sides agreed on the importance of the China-Pakistan All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership amidst the emerging global challenges. The meetings were marked by traditional warmth, mutual strategic trust and commonality of views,” the statement read.

In the joint statement, the two sides also raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left from history that should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements,” the statement added. (ANI)

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