ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has assured China of support for fighting militancy in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, underlining that the security interests of the two countries were interconnected.
In an article in the state-run Global Times, Sharif said Pakistan was mindful of Chinese concerns about security challenges being posed by East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang.
“We stand by China in combating ETIM threat. The security interests of Pakistan and China are interconnected and we appreciate the endorsement and support expressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in regards to our efforts in tackling terrorism,” Sharif said.
Lauding China’s efforts towards peace effort in war-torn Afghanistan, the premier said, “We are of the firm view that the Chinese interest and participation in rebuilding infrastructure in Afghanistan and support for reconciliation process in that country would greatly enhance the chances of success in our common goals of peace and development.”
Sharif said the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) launched by Chinese President Xi last month was an “epoch-making” initiative dictated by the “phenomenal economic progress of China”.
“The completion of the projects under the umbrella of CPEC will have a revolutionary impact on the economic profile of Pakistan and go a long way in changing the lives of people belonging to all the four provinces of Pakistan.”
“China would also undoubtedly benefit from this undertaking in many ways and be in a much better position to expand its commercial interests on the global level by securing shortest possible access route to the Arabian Sea as well as to import oil for its industrial machine at a much lesser cost and time,” concluded the prime minister.