Posted by: Administrator | 11 July, 2006

President speech at Banquet for Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji

11 May 2001

“Your Excellency Premier Zhu Rongji, Your Excellency  

Madame Lao An, Distinguished Members of the Chinese Delegation,  Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a matter of pleasure for me and members of my Government to extend a very warm welcome to Premier Zhu Rongji, Madam Lao An and all our honoured Chinese guests on the historic occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the People’s Republic of China. The foundations of these close ties were laid by the sagacious and visionary leaders of our two countries many decades ago. Today, the relationship of friendship, trust and co-operation between the two neighbours stand as a golden example.

Your visit is a landmark because is symbolizes the reaffirmation of our traditional bonds of friendship and also because it is the first at this level between our two countries in the new millennium. We have just concluded very fruitful talks on further consolidating our existing friendship and developing still closer ties in the years ahead.

“Our close relations have remained unaffected by international changes or by domestic changes in our countries. This is due to a shared interest in the peace, security and stability of South Asia and of the wider Asia-Pacific region and our adherence to the principles of the UN other as well as the five principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

“Our two countries hold similar views on regional and international issues, we are opposed to international or regions hegemony and we co-operate with each other closely in international fora.

 “Pakistan and China are partners in peace and development.  The Government and people of Pakistan deeply appreciate the co-operation, support and assistance extended by China in the areas of economic development and defence. The Chashma Nuclear Power Plant which was inaugurated in March this year, is the latest addition to mega infrastructure projects completed by Pakistan with Chinese co-operation and stands as a monument of Pakistan-China friendship and South-South co-operation.  

Excellency,

The people of Pakistan rejoiced at the return of Hong Kong and Macau to China. We fully support the One-China policy and are confident that Taiwan will also soon return to the motherland. We have witnessed with admiration the spectacular progress made by China in recent years in modernizing its economy and in improving the quality of life of its citizens. This has been achieved through the wise policies of China’s leadership and the commitment and dynamism of the Chinese people.

We are confident that in the years ahead, China will reach even greater heights of development and progress. This will also have a positive impact on the economies of developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

In Pakistan, my Government has been engaged in the task of economic revival, good governance and strengthening the institutions of state. This would lay the foundations for a true democracy and pave way for a better life for our people. We have made substantial progress in the last nineteen months in improving our economic performance despite the heavy debt burden inherited by us, the recent drought and large influx of Afghan refugees.  

Excellency,

The world is passing through uncertain times. We are witnessing and an uneven distribution of global power. A new world order is gradually emerging. We share the international concern at the development and deployment of ballistic missile defences which could jeopardize strategic stability, trigger a new arms race and undermine international efforts armed at arms control and disarmament.

Unresolved disputes and conflicts continue to threaten peace in different regions in South Asia, ambitions of hegemony and aspirations of a great power status by India remain a source of instability and tension. These ambitions led to the Indian nuclear capability in the interests of regional stability and to deter aggression. We have exercised restraint and responsibility in nuclear and missile fields. We desire peaceful resolution of disputes with India and have repeatedly expressed our desire for a meaningful dialogue.

China has always played a positive and constructive role to promote peace and stability in South Asia. In the present regional and international environment, that role is even more vital.  

Excellency,

The root cause for the tensions in South Asia remains the unresolved Kashmir dispute, arising from India’s refusal to allow the Kashmiri people to exercise their inherent right to self-determination. This right was also guaranteed to the Kashmiri people by the resolutions of the UN Security Council and pledged to them by both Pakistan and India. Today, the Kashmiri people have engaged in a determined struggle to regain this right. They have made huge sacrifices and have lost more than 70,000 lives in last 10 years besides suffering atrocities through the hands of more than 600,000 Indian occupation forces.

Attempts are often made to bracket the Kashmir freedom struggle with religious extremism or separatism or even with terrorism. It is none of these. The people of Kashmir only want freedom for themselves. They are not separatists, because Kashmir is not and never was a part of India. They are not terrorists.  They were forced to take up arms to defend themselves against Indian state-sponsored terrorism. Kashmir involves the destiny of 10 million Kashmiris living under Indian occupation. Indian attempts to impose a military solution in Kashmir will not succeed.

On our Western borders two decades of foreign occupation, conflict and instability in Afghanistan have profoundly affected our security, economy and social fabric. We would like to see an end to the civil war in Afghanistan and the establishment of a representative, multi-ethnic government in accordance with the wishes of the Afghan people. We have always worked together with other countries and the UN to bring peace in Afghanistan and will continue these efforts. The recently imposed one-sided sanctions against the Afghan Government have seriously hampered these efforts and have further aggravated the economic miseries of the common Afghan people.

Instability in Afghanistan also hinders the development of transit routes to the Indian Ocean for the land-locked states of Central Asia with which Pakistan has traditional cultural and commercial ties. The ancient silk route was traversed by tradesman and travelers from what is now Pakistan Afghanistan and Central Asia, as well as China. These links were disrupted during the colonial period. The Karakoram Highway, an eternal symbol of the dedication of Pakistan and Chinese engineers and workers revived acme of these ties. The independence of the Central Asian countries a decade ago gave rise to expectations of a full restoration of these ancient links but these hopes will remain elusive till restoration of peace in Afghanistan.  

Mr. Prime Minister

 The strong all-weather time tested friendship and comprehensive partnership between Pakistan and China rests on a strong foundation built up over the past fifty years. It is based on mutual trust and draws its sustenance from close people-to-people contacts. It remains a vital element for the peace ad stability of South Asia and beyond. We will work together with our Chinese friends in the pursuit of our shared goals and further strengthen this model bilateral relationship.”

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