ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and National People’s Congress of China Chairman Li Zhanshu have agreed on forming joint parliamentary committee comprising members from Pakistani parliament and National People’s Congress for effective oversight of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
They were of the opinion that enhanced economic cooperation would give impetus to the existing bilateral relations through parliamentary and economic cooperation. National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser was talking to Li Zhanshu in a virtual meeting Wednesday in which both the presiding officers directed their respective secretariats to take necessary steps for constitution of joint parliamentary committee. This virtual meeting is first high-level contact between the two presiding officers after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Asad Qaiser said Pakistan considers China its closest friend, staunchest partner and an iron brother. He said consistent progression in the relations exemplifies a unique model of brotherhood. He congratulated his Chinese counterpart on 71st anniversary of Sino-Pak diplomatic relations and Chinese New Year. He said Pakistan strongly believes in territorial integrity of China and fully supports One-China policy. He said Pakistan values Chinese support on international and regional forums. He said Kashmir being the bleeding wound on the map of the world needed international attention for mitigation of miseries of Kashmiri people and fulfillment of international commitment. He said China’s equivocal support on Kashmir issue is valued by people and government of Pakistan. National People’s Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu said China also considers Pakistan one of its brothers and a closest strategic ally. He said China would always stand by Pakistan for its defence and maintaining territorial integrity. He said COVID-19 was devastating for China as well as the world; however, support of Pakistan specially the parliament had boosted the Chinese morale to fight the disease. He assured the speaker that provision of COVID-19 vaccine was on the top most priority of the Chinese government. NPC chairman said the CPEC was of utmost importance for the economies of both the countries. Referring to the instances of terrorism in the region, he underlined the need for security of CPEC for keeping it moving.
Paying special gratitude to Asad Qaiser, he said his support for establishment of special economic zones under CPEC earlier as KP Assembly speaker and later as National Assembly speaker had been exemplary. He said Gwadar Port and other projects under CPEC would play an important role in economic development in Pakistan.
The speaker said CPEC was undoubtedly the lifeline of economic development of Pakistan and mechanism had been devised for ensuring security of its projects. He said any attempt to disrupt activity under CPEC would not be tolerated.
He said activity under CPEC had gained momentum and the Rasakai Special
Economic Zone would be functional soon which would generate economic activity besides providing employment particularly in KP province and the country in general.
Both the leaders agreed on enhancing parliamentary cooperation through interaction at standing committees level as well as Parliamentary Friendship Group. He said the legislative interaction should continue virtually till the COVID-19 pandemic fizzles out.
They agreed for an interactive virtual meeting of members National Assembly and National People’s Congress for commemoration of the 71st anniversary of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations.
During the virtual meeting, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser was accompanied by Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, chairman CPEC Committee Sher Ali Arbab, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ehsanullah Tiwana, Pak-China Friendship Group convener Noor Alam Khan and other members of the National Assembly whereas NPC chairman was accompanied by deputy speaker NPC and chairmen of the committees on foreign affairs and law.