PM vows to fortify relations viz China in the diverse areas

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to further strengthen relations with China in the spheres of politics, trade and economy.
Interacting with the Chinese media on the occasion of centenary celebrations of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the prime minister lauded the ruling CCP for offering a unique model of governance, terming it an alternative to Western democracy. “Until now, we had been told that the best way for societies to improve was through Western democracy,” the PM said. “The CCP has introduced an alternative model and they have beaten all Western democracies in the way they have highlighted merit in society,” he added.
He went on to say, “In our society and in Western democracies, it is difficult to bring change as you are bound by rules and regulations,” and added that democracies of today plan only for the next five years. “Leader’s achievements speak for themselves and that’s what President Xi Jinping has proved to the world,” he remarked.
The prime minister said, “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a project that gives us optimism and hope for future economic development.”
He said a high-level committee has also been constituted to monitor progress on the CPEC-related projects and make sure there is no impediment in their way. Khan said that he is also going to Gwadar next week to oversee the pace of corridor related projects. He said his visit to China is also in the offing which will focus on further strengthening the bilateral relationship.
The prime minister said that Pakistan hopes to attract the Chinese industries in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being established under the second phase of the CPEC. He said, “We are also looking to benefit from the Chinese expertise in the agriculture sector to bolster the productivity of this sector of the economy.”
The prime minister said that China always stood by Pakistan in difficult times. This is why the people of Pakistan have a special place in their heart for their Chinese friends.
Felicitating China on the 100th anniversary of the CPC, Imran Khan said that Pakistan admires President Xi Jinping as one of the greatest statesmen of the modern world. He said the Chinese president’s drive against corruption and the way he brought millions of people out of poverty is really admirable.
Responding to a question, Khan said China stands out the way they coped with Covid-19 pandemic. He said, “We are also thankful to China for donating vaccines which helped Pakistan better tackle the pandemic.”
To a question, the prime minister said Pakistan accepts the Chinese version of the Xinjiang situation. He said it is hypocritical that there is no mention of the worst human rights violations being carried out in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in the western media. He said there are UN Security Council resolutions on the Kashmir dispute which accept the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people.
About Afghanistan, the prime minister said the outbreak of civil war in the country will have serious consequences for the region. Therefore, he said, Pakistan wants political settlement in Afghanistan at all costs.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government is committed to increasing agricultural produce in the country by providing technical assistance and direct subsidy to farmers, as food security has become a matter of national security for Pakistan.
Addressing the National Kissan Convention on Thursday, the prime minister said that development of the agriculture sector is vital for progress and prosperity of the country.
The prime minister said that Pakistan’s “biggest challenge” in the years to come will be that of food security. To explain the precise nature of the problem, he explained to the audience that Pakistan had to import 4 million tonnes of wheat last year alone to meet a shortfall. “The expense for that was in foreign exchange, in a country that is already short of dollars,” remarked PM Imran Khan.
He added that it was unsustainable for the country to keep on going like this. “The rate at which our population is increasing [we need to ask] in the next 10, 15 years how will we create food for our population?” said the premier.
The premier said that it was necessary to raise awareness about food security and that Pakistan should start taking measures to tackle the problem from today. “If we want to save our nation from the challenges ahead [we need to see that] food security in reality [has become] national security,” said PM Imran Khan.
The prime minister said that Pakistan does not accept Israel due to the atrocities it commits against Palestine but acknowledged how it utilised technologically advanced methods to even make barren land useful for agriculture. “They scratched their heads and came up with a solution to turn even a desert into fertile land.”
To further highlight the problem of food security in Pakistan, the prime minister said that the situation is so dire that kids in the country are born stunted. “Close to 40% of babies in our country are stunted because their diet is not complete. This is a very dangerous figure,” said the PM.
The premier said to tackle the problem, the government is launching a nutrition programme under the Ehsaas programme. The plan will focus on ensuring that the diet of children till the age of three is complete so they are not stunted. The premier said that if they remain stunted then the children will be “left behind in the race of life as their brain and body will not be developed”.
PM Imran Khan further said that children in the country are not getting proper milk as it is “contaminated”. “[Just] think, our kids are not getting pure milk and that is their most basic need for growth,” said PM Imran Khan. He also said that when the government further investigated the problem, it found that the cows in Pakistan were producing lesser milk than those in other countries.
The prime minister said that the government is focusing on research and seed development to enhance per acre yield and preserve perishable commodities like fruits and vegetables. He said, “We have large swathes of barren land in Dera Ismail Khan, Cholistan, merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and other parts of the country, which can be utilised for agricultural purposes.”
He said that Pakistan has favourable conditions of land and environment for cultivation of olive, avocado and other modern varieties. He expressed the hope that Pakistan will soon become an exporter of olive oil due to steps taken by the government to promote olive cultivation in the country.
The Prime Minister, on the occasion, also inaugurated an agricultural exhibition. – TLTP

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