Zardari for capturing essence of Pak-China friendship
ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday stressed the need for capturing true essence of Pakistan-China friendship, which is described as taller than mountains and deeper than oceans.
“Pakistan and China enjoy a unique and enduring friendship. In describing our friendship as being taller than mountains and deeper than oceans, I only seek to capture the true essence of our relationship. I am also confident that, in doing so, I speak not just for myself but for all the 180 million of my fellow Pakistanis,” the president said while speaking at a banquet he hosted in honour of visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Presidency on Saturday night.
Besides Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the Senate chairman, National Assembly speaker, members of the federal cabinet and parliamentarians, the banquet was attended by PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, ANP Chief Asfandyar Wali, MQM parliamentary leader Farooq Sattar and other political figures. Chairman joint chiefs of staff committee and chiefs of the three armed services also attended the banquet.
Speaking on the occasion, President Zardari said there was no doubt that “Pakistan and China are, as described by President Hu Jintao, truly good neighbours, close friends, trusted partners and dear brothers”. He said, “Our fraternal bonds are rooted in the ethos of our people. Physical proximity, our common rivers and mountains and shared cultural and civilisational heritage has given depth and substance to our relations.”
The president called the Chinese premier’s visit another watershed in the proud history of relations between the two countries and said he had no doubt it would serve to forge even closer bilateral ties and cooperation. He wished the Chinese people peace, prosperity and more success in the future. He said that Sino-Pak partnership was founded on an absolute convergence of interest that found expression in united and principled stance on all international and regional issues. “The people of both the countries have stood shoulder to shoulder through every trial because they cherish the same ideals: freedom, dignity, and the right to peaceful pursuit of development,” he added.
“If our friendship has stood the test of time, it is because it was conceived under the personal direction of great leaders like Mao Ze Dong, Zhou Enlai and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” he said, adding that successive Chinese and Pakistani leaders including former slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto, extended great effort for its further development.
The president remarked that progress of China was a testimony to the wisdom and vision of its leadership, and the hard work and spirit of its people. “What other countries have achieved over the course of centuries, China has surpassed in a matter of 30 years,” he added.
In his remarks, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said his country was proud of having a good friend and partner like Pakistan. For decades, the two countries have been treating each other with sincerity and supporting each other on all international fora, he said. Wen said he was happy to note and feel the brotherly and friendly feelings of the people of Pakistan towards the people of China.
Referring to the recent devastating floods that hit Pakistan, the Chinese premier said, “Our hearts go to the affected people of Pakistan”, adding, one of the objectives of his visit was also to show solidarity with Pakistan.
He assured that China would do whatever it could to help Pakistan rebuild the flood-affected areas and achieve a sustainable economic development. He said the celebrations of 60th anniversary of Pak-China relations next year would also provide an opportunity to highlight even brighter picture of Pak-China friendship through various events and exchanges of delegations from various walks of life. app