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China vows ‘full support’ to Pak’s sovereignty

September 27
03:38 2011

Yousuf Raza Gilani

ISLAMABAD: China today pledged its “full support” to Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and vowed to work with it for peace in the region, amid a US-Pak row over ISI’s links with the Haqqani network responsible for attacks on American forces in Afghanistan.

China’s Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu, who arrived here yesterday, conveyed Beijing’s support during a meeting with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani this afternoon.

Meng “categorically extended” China’s full support to “Pakistan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and vowed to work with it for progress and peace in the region and the world,” state-run APP news agency reported.

Gilani described China as Pakistan’s close friend. He said “a friend of China is Pakistan’s friend, its enemy (is) Pakistan’s enemy and China’s security (is) Pakistan’s security.”

The two countries together “can progress and prosper and bring the dividends of development to their people,” Gilani said.

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and the Ambassadors of both countries.

Meng met Pakistan army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani shortly after his arrival in Islamabad yesterday.

The two leaders discussed the situation in the region and the war on terrorism, sources said.

The Chinese minister will also attend a banquet hosted in his honor by President Asif Ali Zardari.

The Foreign Office spokesperson contended that Meng’s visit was prescheduled and was in the context of the 60th anniversary of Sino-Pakistan ties.

Meng has said his discussions with Pakistani leaders would focus on ways to “contribute to national security and regional stability.”

Cooperation against Uighur Chinese militants would also be discussed, Interior Minister Malik said.

Pakistani officials describe their ties with China as an “all-weather friendship.”

China provides Pakistan with large amounts of direct foreign investment in sectors like telecommunications and infrastructure.

Meng’s visit assumes significance as Pakistan and the US are engaged in a war of words following US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen’s accusation that the ISI has backed the Haqqani network in carrying out terror attacks in Afghanistan.

Mullen described the Haqqani network as a “veritable arm” of the ISI. -PTI

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