Unfair of US to press Pakistan to take sides, downgrade ties with China: PM Khan

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan said Tuesday that Pakistan and China enjoyed special relationship spanning over 70 years of friendship and declared that nothing could change the time-tested ties.

The prime minister, in an exclusive interview with CGTN- Chinese state TV, dilated upon the deep-rooted ties between the two countries.

To a query, he emphatically reiterated, “ Whatever will happen… relationship between our two countries, no matter what pressure is put on us, is not going to change.”

In the region, he said, a strange and great power rivalry took place, which everybody knew. It could create problems. The United States formed a regional alliance called ‘Quad’, including India and couple of other countries. “So, from that point of view, Pakistan thinks that it is very unfair of the US and other Western powers …… for countries like Pakistan to take sides. Why should we take sides! We should have good relationship with everyone,” he maintained. 

The prime minister categorically said if pressure was put on Pakistan to change its relations or downgrade its ties with China, it would not happen. 

“Relationship between Pakistan and China is are very deep, it’s not just the governments, but it’s people-to-people relationship,” he added.

The prime minister further said that when Pakistan had been in trouble politically or internationally, or had conflicts, China always stood with them. The people of China had special place in the hearts of people of Pakistani, he said, adding, “You remember friends who stand with you in all times. In good times, everyone stands with you, but in difficult, tough and bad times, you remember those who stood by you.” The people of Pakistan had that kind of fondness for the people of China, he added. The prime minister, to another question, replied that the relationship between the two countries grew stronger, even now politically and on the international fora Pakistan and China stood together. About China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said CPEC was ‘the biggest thing happening in Pakistan,’ and where its economic future was moving.

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.

He was talking to Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, who called on him here yesterday

During the meeting, they discussed record production of all crops and a strategy for upcoming crops.

Besides, it was decided to organize a 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 the Prime Minister Imran here.

Matters related to progress on ongoing IT projects and government’s measures to increase IT exports were came under discussion during the meeting.

Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema and MNA Moonis Elahi also called on the Prime Minister here.

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 the ongoing projects of the Housing Ministry was also discussed.

Later, different Members of Parliament called on Prime Minister Imran Khan.

They includes Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Malik Anwar Taj, MNAs Imran Khattak, Junaid Akbar, Shaukat Ali, Saleem Rahman, Arbab Amir, Andleeb Abbas, Shunila Ruth, Nusrat Wahid, Ghazala Saifu, 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.

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