Islamabad, 16 May 2022 (TDI): Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif called the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang.

The two counterparts discussed issues pertaining to mutual interest with traditional warmth and cordiality. The Prime Minister of Pakistan offered his condolences to the Chinese Government and its people.

He also expressed sympathies with the families of victims of the Karachi University terrorist attack. The terrorist attack took place on 26 April 2022 killing three Chinese scholars.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the terrorist attack besides reaffirming the firm resolve of Pakistan to hold a comprehensive investigation, along with apprehending the perpetrators of this criminal act and bringing them to justice in accordance with the law.

He reiterated that the safety, security, and protection of all Chinese nationals working in Pakistan on economic projects and institutions were of great importance to Pakistan.

The Pakistani Prime Minister ensured the Chinese Prime Minister about his Government’s determination to take all essential steps for improved security and safety in Pakistan.

The two counterparts also deliberated upon bilateral matters. They agreed that Pakistan and China will not permit anyone to damage the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership between the two nations.

Shehbaz Sharif thanked China for its support of Pakistan’s sovereignty, national development as well as territorial integrity. Along these lines, he reaffirmed his unwavering support for China on all matters of its core interest.

The Prime Minister proclaimed his resolve to fast-track both the new as well as the ongoing projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He stated that CPEC has significantly contributed to the socio-economic growth of Pakistan.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif accentuated the need for both sides to cooperate and enhance collaboration between the concerned agencies of China and Pakistan to operationalize the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as soon as possible.

Whilst reminiscing about China-Pakistan sister-city partnerships, he communicated his wish to learn from the knowledge of Chinese officials who have stayed instrumental in establishing SEZs in their respective provinces.

He also enunciated his commitment to working with renewed zeal and enthusiasm on projects of strategic importance for the two countries, like the ML-1 project.

Regarding people-to-people ties, Shehbaz Sharif conveyed sentiments of the families of the Pakistani students desirous of returning to China to resume their studies.

The Chinese Premier, during the telephonic conversation, on his part, assured the Pakistani Prime Minister of the willingness of China to expand trade, improve economic cooperation, and promote significant investments from China to Pakistan.

Both the Prime Ministers underscored that the Pakistan-China All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership must persist for the vital interests of the two nations.

To this end, the two counterparts agreed to improve the momentum of interactions to take bilateral collaboration to even higher levels.