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Sino-Pakistan friendship rooted in history: Hu

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
November 25, 2006 23:23 IST
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Without directly referring to China's improving relations with India, visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao today said Beijing's all-weather friendship with Pakistan would not be affected by any development in the international and regional arena.

Addressing a civic reception accorded to him at Lahore, Hu, who concluded his three-day visit to Pakistan, said Sino-Pakistan friendship was rooted in history.

"The changing global scenario with critical challenges or the situation in the region will not affect our evergreen friendship," the Chinese President said without directly referring to Beijing's improving ties with India.

Hu said the everlasting friendship between Pakistan and China was vital for prosperity and stability in the region and meets the common aspirations of their people.

"Let's make joint efforts to further cement this friendship," he said.

The two countries have gone through turmoil in their history but their friendship remained unchanged and was further cemented and Sino-Pak friendship would not be affected by the events around as it was based on strong political reasons, he said.

The Chinese president paid rich tributes to Pakistan for helping China when it went through difficult times. Both countries have become strong friends now, he said, adding that Pakistan has become important trade partner for China in South Asia.

A number of mega Chinese companies were investing in Pakistan and the government is encouraging more industries to invest here, Hu said.

Hu said China and Pakistan were enjoying good political, economic, social and cultural ties. The Karakoram Highway, Chashma Nuclear Power Plant (CHASNUPP) and Gwader Deep Sea Port were the examples of cooperation between the two nations, he said.

The reception hosted by Pakistan's Punjab province was held at Shalimar Gardens and attended by the provincial chief minister and the governor.

Hu was accorded a grand reception when he arrived at Lahore from Islamabad with people lining up by the road to greet him. The state-run PTV telecast his arrival and reception live.

Hu also visited Urdu poet and proponent of Pakistan's formation Allama Iqbal's cemetery.
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K J M Varma in Islamabad
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