ISLAMABAD: The country’s political leadership on Tuesday commended neighbouring China for its assistance during the Covid pandemic and said China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was beyond partisan politics for them.
Leaders belonging to ruling and opposition parties demonstrated the rare unanimity in their views while addressing the World Political Parties Summit in connection with the celebrations on the occasion of 100th anniversary of founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
Besides Prime Minister Imran Khan, the summit was addressed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
On the occasion, the PPP chairman said the foundation of Pakistan-China friendship was laid by Chairman Mao Tse Tung and the founding chairman of his party Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
Moreover, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said, the Pakistani section of the CPEC was initiated by the previous PPP government under the leadership of Asif Zardari.
On behalf of the PPP, he extended warmest wishes and congratulations to the people of China, President Xi and the CPC for the party’s historic 100-year anniversary.
“Today the CPC has become the world’s biggest political party with more than 90 million members,” he said.
The PPP chairman said China had made great strides against poverty and had simultaneously become one of the largest economies on earth. He said despite the Covid-19 crisis that had slowed the global economic wheel and disrupted healthcare systems across the world, China had proved its strength by achieving unprecedented economic growth. “I was pleased to learn that the Peoples Republic of China has lifted more than a 100 million people, especially from rural areas, out of poverty since 2012. With the CPC’s people-friendly economic policies, countrywide poverty eradication campaign, China’s success in combating poverty proves that true economic growth only counts if it benefits the poorest in society,” Mr Bhutto-Zardari said.
“Today, as we see China’s economic power through the revolutionary One Belt One Road initiative, it is a matter of both pride and responsibility that makes me say that the PPP is fully committed to realising the potential of this great dream,” he added.
The PPP chairman said whether it was foreign investments, humanitarian assistance during the pandemic, global climate responsibility or international development that benefited all via its soft power, China under the leadership of President Xi had entered a new phase of global leadership.
“The CPEC goes beyond partisan politics for us and we are all united around one fundamental truth in a world defined by unexpected conflicts and challenges,” he said.
“The future really does lie in peace and cooperation. As of today, it is China leading the way for global cooperation instead of global conflict. This is the only way for my generation to be part of a future with perpetual peace and break with the past habits of perpetual conflict,” he concluded.
PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif said China’s peaceful rise as the world’s second largest economy and a paramount global power owed itself to the vision and dedication of the CPC. He claimed his party and the CPC in recent few years had collaborated very closely at different levels and had provided a strong underpinning to the China-Pakistan relationship.
Mr Sharif said the theme for the summit “People’s Well-being: the Responsibilities of Political Parties” was most apt and relevant to the realities of the contemporary times and praised the CPC for leading from the front in promoting the cause of well-being of the Chinese people as well as the international community. He said achieving excellent economic growth rates for over three decades and lifting over 800 million out of acute poverty testified to the public welfare model pursued by the CPC. He said China under President Xi Jinping had demonstrated global leadership in helping the third world in battling the coronavirus pandemic through huge donations of vaccine.
The Chinese ambassador, Nong Rong, said that the CPEC would ensure progress and development for the entire region. China would continue to be with Pakistan as both had friendship stronger than the Himalayas, he declared, explaining that China would continue to support Pakistan economically and politically.
Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2021