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Pakistan and China Urge World to Help Rebuild Afghanistan

by Newsweek Pakistan

File photo of P.M. Imran Khan with China President Xi Jinping

In phone call, P.M. Imran Khan and President Xi Jinping agree to boost bilateral economic and commercial ties to overcome COVID-19’s impact on global economy

Pakistan and China on Tuesday called on the international community to help the people of Afghanistan through humanitarian and economic assistance as part of steps required to rebuild the war-torn state.

“The two leaders discussed the situation in Afghanistan,” read a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office on a phone call between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chinese President Xi Jinping. “They called on the international community to provide immediate humanitarian and economic assistance to the people of Afghanistan to alleviate their suffering, prevent instability and flight of people, as well as continued engagement for rebuilding of the country,” it added.

The wide-ranging conversation coincided with the centenary of the Communist Party of China, with Khan congratulating President Xi on the country’s development over the past four decades. “The two leaders also felicitated each other on the important milestone of 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China,” read the statement, noting they had reviewed the “entire gamut” of the two countries’ partnership.

The prime minister appreciated China’s successful containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its relief and assistance measures for developing countries, including vaccine cooperation with Pakistan. On the negative impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, both leaders agreed to further strengthen bilateral economic and commercial ties, including full realization of the potential offered by Phase-II of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement.

Khan also lauded the “successful, timely and high-quality implementation” of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, and welcomed Chinese investments in CPEC Special Economic Zones. He stressed that early commencement of work on the ML-1 railway project would complement Pakistan’s shift toward geo-economics for national and regional development.

The prime minister also appreciated China’s leading role in combating climate change and briefed President Xi on Pakistan’s wide-ranging measures for climate change mitigation and adaptation, including the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami initiative. Both leaders agreed to strengthen Pakistan-China cooperation in relevant areas and promote CPEC’s “green development” as a demonstration of the Belt and Road Initiative.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, Khan also highlighted the need to continue the momentum of high-level exchanges between Islamabad and Beijing to further diversify the “All Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership” between the two countries. He also reiterated his invitation to President Xi to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience.

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