Pakistan on Friday conferred its highest civilian award Nishan-e-Pakistan on visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao for his contribution in cementing bilateral ties.
Hu, who is on a three day visit to Pakistan, was presented a medal and a citation by President Pervez Musharraf at a civic reception in Islamabad. The Chinese president later addressed the people of Pakistan live on state television.
Hu thanked Pakistan for its support to China over the Taiwan issue and the role Islamabad played in helping the Chinese leadership forge ties with leaders of the western world. "These are things we cannot forget," he said.
Hu's reception was attended among others by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and his Cabinet ministers.
"We take great pride in China and Pakistan friendship," Hu said adding, "China was committed to deepen its strategic partnership with Islamabad and consolidate it."
He said close contacts were maintained between leaders of both countries and regular consultation on major issues in strategic economic and defence fields.
Pakistan is an indispensable partner for cooperation in the international arena. The two countries should jointly promote collective interests of developing countries and promote democracy in international relations, Hu said.