Pakistan, China to fast-track ML-1 Railway Line, Gwadar Port, Karakoram Highway projects
May 15, 2024

Pakistan and China have agreed to accelerate the implementation of ML-1 railway line project, the Gwadar Port Development, realignment of Phase-2 of the Karakoram Highway.                            

This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar, while addressing a joint news conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing today.

Ishaq Dar said it was also agreed to strengthen cooperation in agriculture, mining, minerals, energy, IT, and industrial sectors.

As the two sides embarked on phase 2 of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, they look forward to developing corridors of growth, livelihood, innovation, green development and inclusivity.  

The Deputy Prime Minister further said there was a consensus to finalize the modalities for third party participation in CPEC.

He appreciated China's development assistance for Pakistan and look forward to further enhancing China's development footprint in Pakistan.                                   

Ishaq Dar said as per consensus, the Karakoram Highway is the linchpin of China-Pakistan geographical connectivity and an important artery of CPEC. He said we would implement our previous understanding to commence all-weather operations of Khunjrab-Sost border crossing soon.    

Ishaq Dar said as all-weather strategic cooperative partners, our two countries will continue supporting each other on issues of core interest and concern. He appreciated China's steadfast support for Pakistan's sovereignty, integrity and right to development as well as Beijing's principled stand on the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir.         

The Deputy Prime Minister said he briefed the Chinese side about the threat to regional peace and security that continue to emanate from India's illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir, its unilateral actions and hostile posture. He said peace in the region will remain elusive until the historic injustices meted out to the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir are addressed in line with wishes of Kashmiri people and resolutions of UN Security Council.

Ishaq Dar further said that Pakistan as a strategic partner and trusted friend will continue to support China on its all core issues, including Xinjiang, the South China Sea, and Taiwan.

Talking about Afghanistan, he said both Pakistan and China are unanimous that a peaceful, stable, united, safe and secure Afghanistan is fundamental for the development, connectivity and prosperity of the region. He said we are concerned about the continued presence of terrorist entities operating in Afghanistan and call upon the Afghan-interim government to take credible and verifiable actions against such elements, using Afghan soil to threaten peace and stability of the neighbouring countries.

Acknowledging the services of Chinese engaged in Pakistan and terming them as guests in the country, Ishaq Dar conveyed heartfelt condolence on the martyrdom of five Chinese and a Pakistani national in a terrorist attack in Shangla.                  

He said Pakistan deeply appreciates their sacrifices and will never forget their services. He said Pakistan is fully committed to bring the planners, financiers and perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice. He added that Pakistan has taken the extensive and elaborate measures to protect Chinese interest in Pakistan.                                    

The Deputy Prime Minister further remarked that Pakistan remains opposed to bloc politics and advocates constructive engagements among members of international community.

He said next week Pakistan and China will be celebrating 73rd anniversary of their iron-clad friendship. He said this unique partnership is a moral force in the world affairs and indispensable for progress and development of our countries.