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No pressure can downgrade ties between China & Pakistan: PM

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan and China have a strong relationship and no pressure can change or downgrade their bilateral ties.
In an interview with China Global Television Network on Tuesday, the prime minister said it is “very unfair” of the United States and other Western powers to ask countries like Pakistan to pick a side in their strategic competition with China and force them to “downgrade” their diplomatic ties with the administration in Beijing. Khan made a reference to the emerging Sino-US bipolar rivalry when asked about the international impact of Pakistan’s 70 years of diplomatic relationship with China.
“Pakistan thinks that it is very unfair for the US or other Western powers to force countries like us to take sides,” he said. “Why do we have to take sides? We should have a good relationship with everyone.” The prime minister added that Pakistan would not downgrade its relations with China under any circumstances.
“The relationship between Pakistan and China is very deep,” he maintained. “And it’s not just [between] the governments, it’s a people-to-people relationship.”
He said that Pakistan and China have a glorious history of a seven-decade old strong bond between the people of the two countries.
He said China has always stood by Pakistan in difficult times on all matters, including economic and political fronts, and at the international forums. That is why the people of Pakistan have a special place in their hearts for their Chinese friends.
Imran Khan said that Pakistan wants cordial relations with all countries without taking sides of anyone.
To a question, he said bilateral ties between Pakistan and China are moving faster in the realm of trade of which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a bright example.
He further said that Pakistan’s economic trajectory is determined by CPEC, adding that the political relation between the two countries is also getting stronger due to their ongoing collaboration on multiple levels.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that provision of relief to farmers is amongst the top priorities of the government for which reforms are being introduced to the agriculture sector under a comprehensive strategy.
The prime minister said this while talking to Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, who called on him on Tuesday.
During the meeting, they discussed record production of all crops and a strategy for upcoming crops. Besides, it was decided to organise Farmers’ Convention in Islamabad on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Minister for Information Technology Syed Amin-ul-Haq and Member National Assembly Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Matters related to progress on ongoing IT projects, the government’s measures to increase IT exports and Karachi uplift projects came under discussion during the meeting.
Meanwhile, Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema and MNA Moonis Elahi called on Prime Minister Imran Khan.
They discussed the positive outcomes of the budget relief measures for the common man and especially lifting of the poor people out of poverty and increasing employment opportunities through economic growth under development projects. Further progress on ongoing projects of the Housing Ministry was also discussed.
Meanwhile, different members of the parliament also called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. They include Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Malik Anwar Taj, MNAs Imran Khatak, Junaid Akbar, Shaukat Ali, Saleem Rahman, Arbab Amir, Andleeb Abbas, Shunila Ruth, Nusrat Wahid, Ghazala Saifu, and Khayal Zaman, and Senator Seemi Ezdi.
During the meeting, issues of respective constituencies and ongoing development projects were discussed. They also discussed matters related to the budget for next fiscal year.
Separately, MNA Shahzain Bugti also called on the prime minister. During the meeting, views were exchanged on continuing developing projects under the prime minister’s vision of special focus on Balochistan, historic package of the government for the province and socio-economic development of the people of Balochistan.
Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak and Planning Minister Asad Umar were also present on the occasion. – TLTP