Islamabad: By,ABID CHAUDHRY
Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser and Chairman National Peoples Congress of China have agreed for formation of a joint Parliamentary Committee comprising of members from Pakistani Parliament and National People’s Congress for effective oversight of CPEC. They were of the opinion that enhanced economic cooperation would give impetus to the existing bilateral relations through parliamentary and economic cooperation. The Speaker Asad Qaiser was talking to Li Zhanshu in a Virtual meeting held today. Both the Presiding Officers directed their respective Secretariats to take necessary steps for constitution of Joint a parliamentary Committee.
During the meeting Speaker Asad Qaiser was accompanied by Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, Chairman CPEC committee Sher Ali Arbab, Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee Ehsan ullah Tiwana, Convener Pak-China Friendship Group Noor Alam Khan and other members of the National Assembly whereas Chairman NPC was accompanied by Deputy Speaker NPC and Chairmen of the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Law. This virtual meeting is first high level contact between the two presiding officers after the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Speaker said that Pakistan considers China its closest friend, staunchest partner and an iron brother. He said that consistent progression in the relations exemplifies a unique model of brotherhood. He congratulated his Chinese counterpart on 71st anniversary of Sino-Pak diplomatic relations and Chinese New Year.
Speaker Asad Qaiser said that Pakistan strongly believes in territorial integrity of China and fully supports One China policy. He said that Pakistan values Chinese support on international and regional forums. He said that Kashmir being the bleeding wound on the map of the world needed international attention for mitigation of miseries of Kashmiri people and fulfilment of international commitment. He said that China’s equivocal support on Kashmir issue is valued by people and government of Pakistan.
Chairman National People’s Congress Li Zhanshu said that China also considers Pakistan one of its brother and a closest strategic ally. He said that China would always stand by Pakistan for its defence and maintaining territorial integrity. He said that Covid-19 was devastating for the China as well as the world, however support of Pakistan specially the parliament had boosted the Chinese moral to fight that disease. He assured the Speaker that provision of covid-19 vaccine was on the top most priority of the Chinese Government.
Speaking about the CPEC, Chairman NPC said that CPEC was of utmost importance for the economies of both the countries. Referring to the instances of terrorism in the region, underlined the need for security of CPEC to keep it moving on right track. Paying special gratitude to the Speaker Asad Qaiser, he said that his support for establishment of special economic zones under CPEC earlier as Speaker KPK Assembly and later as Speaker National Assembly had been exemplary. He said that Gawadar port and other projects under CPEC would play an important role in economic development in Pakistan.
Speaker Asad Qaiser said that CPEC was undoubtedly lifeline for economic development of Pakistan and mechanism had been devised for ensuring security of the CPEC projects. He said that any attempt to disrupt activity under CPEC would not be tolerated. He said that activity under CPEC had gained momentum and the Rasakai Special Economic Zone would be functional soon which would generate economic activity besides providing employment particularly in the KPK province and the country in general. The Speaker proposed a joint Parliament Committee comprising members from Parliament of Pakistan and National People’s Congress for effective oversight of the CPEC projects.
Both the leaders agreed for enhancing parliamentary cooperation through interaction at standing committees level as well as Parliamentary Friendship Group. He said that the legislative interaction should continue virtually till the covid-19 disease had fizzled out. They agreed for a interactive virtual Meeting of members National Assembly and National People’s Congress in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of Pakistan China diplomatic relations. They also reiterated invitations to each other to visit Pakistan and China at their convenience.