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Pak-China strategic dialogue

FIRST Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue being held in Beijing is yet another manifestation of the deep-rooted and widening dimensions of relations between the two friendly countries. Both sides will hold comprehensive discussions on the entire range of bilateral relations, including the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and will also discuss the regional situation and cooperation at multilateral fora.
The four-day visit of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to China and the strategic consultations come at a very crucial time when a number of developments are taking place in the region that could affect both the countries in different ways. India has adopted a belligerent attitude towards Pakistan threatening peace of South Asia and this is also a source for concern for China that has been pleading for measures to promote regional peace and stability so that the region could focus on progress and development which is a priority with the Chinese leadership. China believes in shared prosperity and launching of the One Belt, One Road Initiative is a clear evidence of Beijing’s sincerity to this cherished goal. During the heightened tension between Pakistan and India, China urged both the countries to exercise restraint and engage in constructive dialogue to resolve their differences. China also offered to play role as mediator between the two countries which also reflected its commitment to regional peace and stability. It was in line with the Chinese policy of reducing tension in the region that it blocked Western resolution, moved on behalf of India, to include name of Maulana Masood Azhar on the UN list of terrorists, a move that irked New Delhi but Beijing maintained that the concerned institutions should abide by the laws and procedures on this issue. It is hoped that the two countries would have in-depth discussions on latest situation vis-à-vis Pakistan-India relations, its implications for regional security and coordinate their policies to safeguard their own interests as well as that of the people of the region. Important developments are also taking place on Afghan front and China has been active on diplomatic front to help find out an amicable final settlement of the conflict. It is expected that the two countries would have focused discussions on different aspects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and reiterate their commitment to pursue this historic project with same vigour as was initially demonstrated by them. People of Pakistan have great expectations from this project as it is directly linked to their progress and prosperity and, therefore, it should remain a priority for both countries. We would propose that new projects should be added to the portfolio of CPEC that could help accelerate the pace of socio-economic development in different regions of Pakistan.