Qureshi 'very confident' as PM Khan, high-level delegation return from China

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Monday night he was “feeling very confident” after a high-level delegation of Pakistani ministers and advisers returned from their trip to China.

Apart from Qureshi, the group that had travelled to Beijing alongside Prime Minister Imran Khan comprised Asad Umar, Khusro Bakhtiar, and Sheikh Rashid, the ministers of finance, planning, and railways, respectively, as well as Abdul Razak Dawood, the advisor to Khan on commerce, textiles, industries production and investment, and Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal.

The foreign minister on Twitter stated that they had “a productive visit” and that “China and Pakistan are iron brothers and together we will climb the highest mountains”.

“Collaboration and mutually beneficial policies will pave the way forward for future generations,” he wrote, referring to the friendly Sino-Pak relations.

Earlier in the day, Khan, also the chairperson of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), had addressed the opening ceremony of International Import Expo in Shanghai, marking the fifth day of his first official visit to China since assuming charge as the country’s premier.

He had said the PTI-led government remained committed to improving transparency and accountability processes in the country and making it more conducive for business and investment by initiating meaningful reforms.

The PM had also pointed out how the country was blessed with an abundance of resources, ranging from minerals to fertile land to wealth of renewables, and enjoyed the most diverse landscape with some 12 climatic zones.

Thanking China for its hospitality, Khan had said Pakistan found great comfort in President Xi Jinping’s statement that their doors would never be shut but would only open wider.

He had said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would result in forging even closer connectivity in the region including the Middle East and Central and South Asia by cutting short distances between countries and reducing costs.

The mega project would open up new investment opportunities in the region, Khan had noted.

“In Pakistan, the Karakoram highway merges into a network of modern highways that are part of CPEC. These take you to the deep sea port of Gwadar, the point where the Belt and Road converge and this impacts not only Pakistan but all economies of the entire region.”

Lauding the expo, the prime minister said it would help spread dividends of free trade among more closely integrated economies. He was among 17 heads-of-states and government officials in attendance.
Over 2,800 companies from 130 countries and regions, as well as 160,000 buyers from over 80,000 Chinese and foreign companies, participated.