Gilgit-Baltistan:Development of China’s western part to bring prosperity to Pakistan

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BEIJING (APP): Ambassador of Pakistan to China, Masood Khan, while appreciating the Chinese government for developing the country’s western Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region said this will create a ‘win-win’ situation for both Pakistan and China.
The Ambassador expressed these views at a reception, hosted for the visiting 40-member delegation comprising officials of the  Foreign Affairs office of the Xinjiang government here at the Pakistan Embassy. He pointed out that Pakistan has close bonds of friendship with the people of neighbouring Xinjiang as “we are joined by mountains and rivers as well as a friendship highway.”
Ambassador Khan said both the governments attach great importance to the economic integration of Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang. In this regard, he said, President Asif Ali Zardari visited Urumqi last year to attend the China-Eurasia Expo.
Muslims, around the world prefer to celebrate Eid with their relatives and dears ones, but the President spent the Eid day with the people of Xinjiang, he added.
He said people of both the countries love each other from the core of their heart because of close cultural and religious proximity.
Ambassador Khan said the Chinese central government has designated the cities of Kashgar and Khorgus for the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for the countries bordering Xinjiang including Pakistan.
The development of SEZs as well as the revival of Silk Route would usher in a great deal of economic activity in the western part of Xinjiang as well as in the contiguous parts of Pakistan.
He said starting from May 21, last year, both the sides have held out a number of activities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
As part of these celebrations Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani also visited China and met with Chinese leadership. During these meetings, both sides agreed to further boost their strategic partnership.
“These celebrations will come to an end in May this year, but the friendship between our two countries would be celebrated forever,” he noted.
Referring to the acts of terrorism by some elements in Xinjiang, Ambassador Masood Khan said the government of Pakistan strongly condemns these acts and has vowed at the highest level that China’s security is absolute priority for Pakistan.
Ambassador’s address was followed by a Question and Answer session in which the delegates asked him questions relating to various matters.
While commenting on the need to increase commercial activity between the two countries one of the officers commented that establishment of air link between Pakistan and Kashgar would be of great help in this regard.
He also emphasized the early establishment of all-weather land connectivity across the Khunjerab pass.
Ambassador Masood Khan offered special thanks to the Xinjiang government for providing valuable humanitarian assistance to the flood affected people of Gilgit-Baltistan in 2010 and 2011.

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