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Islamabad brims with hope and excitement over PM Imran Khan’s visit to China

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Feb 3, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 3 (Gwadar Pro)- As senior Pakistani government officials worked throughout the day till late night on February 2 to finalise the arrangements for the all-important visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China, analysts hoped that the visit will take strategic and economic ties between the two Iron Brothers to new heights.

PM Khan’s visit to Beijing has both symbolic and practical importance, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayyed, senior politician and former chairman of Parliamentary Committee on CPEC, told Gwadar Pro. The visit underlines that Pakistan rejects the Western campaign against China and stands with its all-weather strategic partner, he said. The visit will also bring multiple benefits for Pakistan, as it will boost economic and industrial cooperation as well as trade ties between the two nations, he added. The visit is also significant as leaders of the two countries will have such high-level interaction after more than two years, he said.

Prime Minister Khan will visit China from 3-6 February to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games on the special invitation of the Chinese leadership, Pakistan’s Foreign Office stated yesterday. The Prime Minister will hold bilateral meetings with Chinese leaders to review the entire gamut of bilateral relations, with a particular focus on stronger trade and economic cooperation including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiative, the foreign office further said. PM Khan last visited China on October 8-9, 2019.

CEO KP Board of Investment and Trade Dr. Hassan Daud Butt said that PM Khan’s visit will prove vital for materialising industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan under the second phase of CPEC. “We have finalised all policies in this regard and we are now ready for implementation of the second phase of CPEC”, Butt told Gwadar Pro. The PM received briefings from officials of the Board of Investment and relevant ministers a day ahead of his visit on progress CPEC special economic zones in a bid to attract the Chinese investors, he said. “We are highly optimistic about outcomes of the PM’s visit as both sides will sign several agreements on bilateral cooperation”, he added.

Sheraz Paracha, an expert on regional affairs, said that Khan’s visit will not only reinforce China-Pakistan economic relations but also renew excitement regarding CPEC, especially its second phase of industrial and agricultural cooperation. Pakistan needs to speed up the development of CPEC SEZs to fully capitalise on this historic occasion, he urged.

Shaiq Hussain, a senior analyst of Pakistan’s diplomatic affairs and correspondent of the Washington Post in Islamabad, said that the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to China had paramount significance given the present regional and global scenario. Khan has made it loud and clear to the world that Pakistan firmly stands with China and rejects Western pressure in this regard, he said. This will bring China and Pakistan closer than ever, both strategically and economically, he said.

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