Chinese president to visit Pakistan soon: FO

Source: Published in Current Affairs on Thursday, September 18, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday said that Chinese President Xi Jinping will soon be visiting Pakistan, adding that his earlier visit had been cancelled due to unavoidable circumstances.

Speaking to media representatives, FO spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam said Jinping's visit to India will not have any bearing on Pak-China relations.

“The visit of the Chinese president to India will not affect Pak-China ties as he will soon be visiting Pakistan,” she told reporters.

According to the spokeswoman, Jinping had met Adviser to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Dushanbe on Monday.

Earlier, following consultations between the governments of China and Pakistan, the visit of Chinese president to the country had been cancelled in light of protests in Islamabad led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).

As the ruling Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) blamed cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and firebrand cleric Tahirul Qadri's protest in the capital for the cancellation of Chinese president's visit, counter-part India rolled out the red carpet for Xi Jinping on his maiden visit to India.

Narendra Modi had organised an intimate riverside dinner in Ahmedabad, where giant billboards in Chinese, Gujarati and English welcomed the president.

China’s consul-general in Mumbai Liu Youfa had told the Times of India before the visit that Mr Xi would “commit investments of over $100bn”, noting this was triple the sum pledged by Japan during Mr Modi’s visit earlier this month.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had earlier said that China had been making an investment of $34bn in Pakistan.

The FO spokeswoman added that Pakistan had launched a protest with Afghanistan over attacks on border check posts and had urged the neighbouring country to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries from its land.

On Wednesday, a senior Afghan diplomat was summoned to the Foreign Office and a formal demarche was made against Tuesday’s cross-border terrorist attack on a security post in North Waziristan in which four soldiers had been killed.

Regarding devastating floods in the country, the Aslam said that the government had not requested international community for any assistance or support.